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