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.
Hirsch Vineyard was planted in 1980 and is perched on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Fort Ross.
Light red in color. 14.3% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, baking spices and pine needles. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Lithe and elegant. Bing cherry, cranberry, nutmeg and earth on the palate. The finish is long and silky. This Pinot Noir is more about finesse and grace and less about up front fruit. Stunning wine. Best over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 96 points.
Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended.