2018 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors

Year: 2018
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 93
Connoisseurs' Guide: 89
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.7%
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"The 2018 Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors has a pale ruby-purple color and takes its time to open to gentle scents of rhubarb, raspberries, licorice, dried flowers, exotic spices and an earthy undercurrent. Medium-bodied, the palate offers delectable, sweet and juicy red berry fruit with a grainy frame and long finish layered with classic Pinot Noir bitterness. What a beauty! 1,625 cases produced." (WA)

"The 2018 Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors is racy and overt from the very first taste. Succulent dark cherry, plum, cola, spice, vanillin, mint and lavender infuse the 2018 with striking depth and resonance. I would prefer to drink this juicy, flamboyant Pinot over the next decade, give or take." (VM)

"Though its stated 13.7% alcohol might well lead one to expect a lighter, if not necessarily leaner, wine, this one turns out to be neither and conveys an unanticipated sense of ripeness and extract both in the nose and on the palate. It is moderately full bodied and rich in black cherry fruit without a great deal of nuance at the moment, but it is nicely balanced with a streak of fine-grained tannins buttressing its lengthy fruit finish, and could surprise with a bit more complexity once it has spent a few years on the cork. It is tasty now, but we rather think that a wait is worthwhile. Reviewed: June 2020" (CG)

Winery Notes:
A gorgeous nose of red fruits and red rose jump from the glass. Orange peel adds a wonderful refreshing lift to the aromatics while a touch of star anise adds depth; the oak is beautifully integrated. Broad at the entry, the wine showcases red fruits and minerals. Texturally, the wine is like velvet and saturates the palate. The tannins are refined, and subtlety drive the palate along.

The Pinot Noir for this blend was sourced from neighboring vineyards along Westside Road: Bacigalupi, Cohn, Flax, Rochioli Riverblock, and our Williams Selyem Estate.

The winter months were very dry with unseasonably warm weather in the early part of the season. By mid-February the rains had returned; nearly doubling the total rainfall and staving off early budbreak. The much-needed rains continued through March resulting in budbreak for the larger part of Westside Road by month-end. The remainder of the spring saw additional rainfall with spates of warm weather interspersed. The plants responded well under these near-perfect vegetative cycle conditions. Flowering commenced in June under ideal temperatures. Subsequently, below-average temperatures ensued for a week and a half which extended the bloom schedule. The net effect of the cooling trend created a looser cluster and some millerandage or “hens and chicks,” a highly desirable trait for many reasons including better phenolic development and better air flow through the cluster to prevent mold. Heading into the season, crop loads were near-historic averages with great vine balance. Harvest started on the 16th of August under ideal conditions with moderate, consistent temperatures. Vintage highlights include site specificity and elegance, while displaying concentration and balance-another great Williams Selyem year in the making.