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.
This wine is comprised of fruit entirely from the Vista Verde Vineyard, located a couple miles south-east of Hollister, California, near the small town of Tres Pinos in San Benito County.
Crimson in color. 13.3% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, cloves, sarsaparilla and forest floor. Medium body with medium acidity. Soft, dark and earthy. Black cherry, cola, earth and minerals on the palate. Nice length on the finish. Definitely enjoyable and fairly priced but not quite on par with recent vintages of this appellation wine. Best over the next 2-4 years.
My rating: 90 points.
Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. The 2020 version of this wine was released a month or so ago at $39. I’m a buyer!
I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.