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.
Papera Vineyard 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. I ranked Papera highly in my Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.
Crimson in color. 14.7% ABV. Stunning nose of brambly red fruits, anise and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Impeccable balance. Packed with exotic fruits. Black cherry liqueur, raspberry compote, boysenberry and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and supple. Exceptional Zinfandel from a treasured vineyard that is strutting it’s stuff at 8 years of age. Best over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 94 points.
Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended.