Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981, and in less than two decades they created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the forefront of the best Pinot Noir regions in the world.

Today, John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, work with winemaker Jeff Mangahas to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise. Other varieties bottled at Williams Selyem include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc.

Hirsch Vineyard was planted in 1980 and is perched on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Fort Ross.

Dark red in color. 14.1% ABV. Ripe nose of red fruits, roses and baking spices. Medium body with ample acidity. Big and powerful with a sense of elegance. Bing cherries, mushrooms, cola and spearmint on the palate. The finish is very long. Solid Pinot Noir but the ripe characteristic that I think defines the ’04 vintage is slightly off putting. Drink over the next year or so.

My rating: 90 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended.

I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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