Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

2016 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Papera 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, Cabernet Sauvignon 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 with the exception of the Bedrock block that is the one part of the vineyard with more mixed blacks.

Papera made my list of Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

Crimson in color. 15.3% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, anise and pepper. Medium to full bodied with mouth watering acidity. Bursting with bright, juicy fruits. Cherry, raspberry liqueur, cranberry and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. My kind of Zinfandel and as always I find myself wishing I had more WS Zin in the cellar. Amazing Zinfandel from a jewel of a vineyard. Best over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 95 points.

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

Tagged , ,

Leave a Comment