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.
John Bucher has been growing Pinot Noir for Williams Selyem since 1999. His vineyard is broken into three distinct areas: L Block, House Block and the Raspberry Block.
Ruby red in color. 13.7% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, cloves, cola and forest floor. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Dark and earthy. Black cherry, sarsaparilla, black tea and earth on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Stunning Pinot Noir that picked up weight and structure with time in the glass. This will drink well for another 2-3 years.
My rating: 93 points.
Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. The 2021 version of this wine will be released in the Fall and priced around $75.
I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.