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BLUE REVIEWS A Legend in Russian River Williams Selyem Continues To Amaze 90 Williams Selyem 2008 Chardonnay, Unoaked, Russian River Valley ($35) Racy and pure with density and ripe fruit with notes of steely minerals; juicy, long and smoothly textured. 92 Williams Selyem 2008 Chardonnay, Heintz Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($50) Golden with lush aromas; silky and dense with pretty oak and good, firm acid structure; creamy, rich and long with lovely balance and style. Valley ($50) Elegant with a lovely balance between crisp acidity and complex, ripe softly-oaked fruit; subtle, but richly flavored and a complete package; exceptional and quite delicious. 94 Williams Selyem 2008 Chardonnay, Hawk Hill Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($50) Creamy and rich with juicy acidity and notes of honeysuckle and spice with white flowers and vanilla; a big wine with lots of finesse and balance. 92 Williams Selyem Executive Winemaker Bob Cabral. I USED TO REFER TO WILLIAMS SELYEM AS a “cult” winery, but that word now seems to be too picayune and clichéd to describe what is certainly one of California’s most noteworthy producers. Founded by Burt Williams and Ed Selyem in a garage in Forestville in 1979, the winery had gained an avidly loyal following—and a long wait for its mailing list—by the time it was purchased by John and Kathe Dyson in 1998. The Dysons, who also own Millbrook Winery in New York and Villa Pillo in Tuscany, continued to nurture the stunning Williams Selyem portfolio, which now consists of single- vineyard Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels from some of Russian River Valley’s most magnificent sites, with the masterful Bob Cabral as Executive Winemaker. I reviewed the Williams Selyem 2008 Papera Vineyard Zinfandel in our November issue (93 points), but I feel that the entire line-up from this superb, world-class producer is worthy of mention. Here are my notes from a recent (and intensive) tasting. In my book, Williams Selyem has crossed the threshold from cult to legend. 56 / the tasting panel / december 2010 ($49) Concentrated and dense with black cherry, plum and earth notes; smooth texture and lovely minerality with gaminess and elegance; long and stylish. 91 93 94 Williams Selyem 2008 Pinot Noir, Hirsch Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($72) Expansive notes of black cherry, wine raspberry and cola with intriguing hints of spice and herbs; complex, balanced, elegant and long. 95 Williams Selyem 2008 Pinot Noir, Allen Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($78) Stunning complexity featuring wild cherry and strawberry with notes of minerals and violets; pure racy acidity with toasty oak and soft tannins; silky and balanced with great length and finesse. Williams Selyem 2007 Chardonnay, Drake Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($60) Ripe and lush with density and lovely fruit; toasty new oak, rich flavors and a long, intense finish. Williams Selyem 2008 Pinot Noir, Eastside Road Neighbors Vineyard, Russian River Valley Williams Selyem 2008 Chardonnay, Allen Vineyard, Russian River PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAMS SELYEM

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