Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2013 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Papera Ranch

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The September Zinfandel of the Month is the 2013 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Papera Ranch.

I chose this wine as my Zinfandel of the Month when I saw a recent thread on Twitter about a Williams Selyem Chardonnay. It made me think that the Zinfandel program at Williams Selyem mostly flies under the radar. They access fruit from incredible vineyards including Bacigalupi and Saitone. On top of that it was an excuse to open a Zinfandel from Papera Ranch which just might be might favorite Zinfandel vineyard.

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.

Papera Ranch is situated in the Russian River Valley at the intersection of Piner and Olivet and was planted in 1934 by Charlie Papera. Most vineyards from this era are comprised of a number of mixed black varieties. Papera, on the other hand, is almost entirely Zinfandel. Papera made my list of Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

Dark crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, peach and pepper. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Impeccable balance. Exceptionally refined with bright fruits in spades. Raspberry compote, strawberry, anise and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and seamless. Gorgeous Zinfandel from an iconic vineyard. Best over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 94 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. The 2019 version of this wine was released last Spring. If you are a member of the Williams Selyem mailing list you would be well advised to buy any Zinfandel they offer on their next mailer in 2022 including the Papera.

I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

Please contact me if you would potentially like to have your Zinfandel featured as soon as next month

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