Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2016 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Saitone Estate Vineyard

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.

I chose the 2016 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Saitone Estate Vineyard as my Zinfandel as my Zinfandel of the Month because Williams Selyem is one of those wineries recognized primarily for a single variety of the wine when consumers would be well served to look for their other offerings as well. In my opinion Williams Selyem makes Zinfandel and Chardonnay that are at least on par with their acclaimed Pinot Noirs.

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.

Saitone Ranch is situated in the Russian River Valley on the east side of the Laguna de Santa Rosa flood plain and was planted in 1895.

Dark red in color. 14.8% ABV. Sublime nose of red and black fruits, citrus, licorice and pepper. Medium body with perfect acidity and balance. Bursting with rich, lush fruits. Raspberry, cranberry, salmonberry and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. This Zinfandel has aged beautifully and could not be more in my wheelhouse. Best over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 95 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. The 2022 version of this wine will be released this Fall and priced around $75.

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