2015 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Year: 2015
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Country: USA - California
Vinous Media: 90
Connoisseurs' Guide: 89
Wine Enthusiast: 95--Burghound: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.1%
Price :

"Williams Selyem's 2015 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a gorgeous wine. Ample and creamy, the 2015 fleshes out nicely with time in the glass. Dark red and purplish-hued fruits, smoke, tobacco and lavender infuse this super-inviting, racy appellation-level Pinot Noir. The Sonoma Coast Pinot straddles an attractive stylistic middle ground that offers more depth and lushness than the Central Coast and Sonoma County bottlings, but less than the Russian River." (VM)

"Some of the new 2015 Pinots from Williams Selyem are relatively open and easy to taste while others are built along somewhat tighter lines that encourage patience rather than hasty drinking, and, while this one leads with immediately inviting aromas of ripe cherries and subtle oak sweetness, it is in the latter camp when it comes to its moderately deep, yet slightly narrow flavors and is a wine whose finishing tilt to acidy firmness prescribes a couple more years of waiting. Reviewed: June 2017" (CG)

"This is a triumph of blending, a cuvée that over-delivers on the sum of its parts, imparting a profile of raspberry strudel and juicy Bing cherry. With underpinnings of spicy cardamom, savory tones of forest and tea invite you further into the glass, finishing with a tease of dark chocolate. -V.B. " (WE)

"A slightly more deeply pitched nose offers up notes of briar, dark pinot fruit, black cherry and similar spice and tea whiffs. Here too there is good richness, volume and vibrancy to the round, supple and relatively forward medium weight flavors that possess a caressing mouth feel, all wrapped in a slightly firmer if less refined finish. This is more obviously structured and I would advise holding it for at least a few years first." (BH)

Winery Notes:
Winemaker’s Notes:
Black cherry, musky herbs, and notes of pomegranate offer a more muscular counterpoint to the elegance of the Russian River Valley bottling. On the brooding nose are elements of smoky minerals and hints of flint add even more complexity. The traditional Sonoma Coastal profile really comes through on the palate with a robust Brazilian coffee complexion to the tannin that feathers out to an elegant minerally finish. Interlaced within this framework are flavors of Bing cherry and bittersweet chocolate. The 2015 Sonoma Coast will offer a very wide window of drinkability due to its sheer density.

The Vineyards:
The Pinot Noir for this blend was sourced from the Hirsch Vineyard, the Coastlands Vineyard and our Drake Estate Vineyard.

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?