2015 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Calegari Vineyard

Year: 2015
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Country: USA - California
Connoisseurs' Guide: 87
Wine Enthusiast: 95--California Grapevine: 88
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.6%
Price :

"The lengthy roster of Williams Selyem's Pinots can be a little intimidating, but each wine does, in fact, show a face of its own, and no two are exactly alike. This one from the Calegari Vineyard is both ripe and fairly pert at one and the same time with obvious acidity making its mark. While it wants for more fruity presence to earn higher marks now, it may yet surprise with a few years of age given its tight-fisted youth and should not be counted out. Reviewed: February 2018" (CG)

"This wine offers a compelling nose of pretty florals and spicy forest-floor aromas. Dense on entry, it lingers in flavors of orange, cherry and rhubarb, with textured tannins and an undercurrent of a stony, mineral character. -V.B" (WE)

"6. 2015 Williams Selyem, “Calegari Vineyard,” Russian River Valley ($62) – Medium-light to medium ruby; fragrant, herbal, earthy, cherry and red berry fruit aroma with hints of anise, cardamom, forest floor, and baking spices; medium body; moderately rich, red fruit flavors with nice acid balance and tending to be a bit tight on the finish; medium tannin; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. 13.6% alcohol; 586 cases; 100% PN; to be released November 2017. (Group Score: 16.1, 0/0/2; My Score: 16.5 [88/100], seventh place)" (CGV)

Winery Notes:
Winemaker Notes:
Deep and almost opaque in color. Calegari Pinot Noir typifies sophistication and precision, and the 2015 version is no exception. An explosive nose of mountain strawberry, red cherry, citrus peel, and dried rose petal lead in the provocative aromatics. A perfumed note of cardamom further adds complexity and intrigue. The acid profile is refreshing and linear, and offers the gamut of red fruit notes including currant and cranberry. Smoky tea flavors and dried herbs are overlaid in this highly focused offering.

The Vineyard:
In 2001, approximately 14 acres of Pinot Noir were planted to clones 115 and 777, and more recently, Mt. Eden and Swan clones were added. 2008 marked the first vintage grapes were purchased from the Calegari Vineyard, and for many years these grapes were the anchor of the acclaimed Eastside Road Neighbors bottling. After working with the grapes for several vintages, we decided that the Calegari fruit warranted its own designation. The signature of this wine is its bright red fruit and floral qualities; the Calegari Vineyard Pinot Noir exemplifies true Russian River Valley style.

Harvest 2015:
The 2015 vintage continues the hit parade of great quality vintages of the last four years. The season started under extreme drought conditions for the 4th consecutive season despite a wet early winter. January was very dry and warm and brought bud break earlier than expected by about 12 days compared to 2014. The rains returned in early February and dramatically slowed down the growth of the plants. May temperatures were some of the coldest on record and negatively impacted flowering and therefore fruit set. It was common for clusters to have millerandage, or a “hens and chicks” (big berry, little berry) phenotype, great for wine quality but severely limited yields. By the end of July the heat returned and, coupled with limited fog intrusion, the ripening process sped along quickly. In fact, harvest started on the last day of July…the earliest on record in the 36 vintages at Williams Selyem! Despite an auspicious start and a dramatic finish to the season, the 2015 wines may surpass some of the great recent vintages as they are bold and yet maintain their trueness to site. With superb color, structure and acidity, the wines have staying power, but with the wonderful texture and richness that are expressed today, who can resist them now?