Fall 2020 Newsletter

Wine Unites Us

We recognize, now more than ever, how wine can bring us together when we are so far apart. To say it has been a wild couple of years in Sonoma County is an understatement! Fires, floods, rolling blackouts and now a global pandemic-whew! We are constantly learning and adapting how to best deal with the challenges this new normal presents. If we know one thing to be true it is that during shelter-in-place, wine was, and continues to be, a source of comfort and normalcy. We’ve been delighted to hear from many of you- pictures, emails, posts of gratitude and joy on social media as you pop corks of old vintages and new. Through some careful and strategic rearranging, we have been able to accommodate most additional requests for wine and we have been so excited for the opportunity to contribute to at- home entertaining, pairing suggestions, and zoom happy hours. From all of us at Williams Selyem, we emphatically thank you for your kind words and your support. Please stay safe and healthy. We hope you enjoy our fall release of the 2018 Vineyard designates.

We Are Open

By now, you may have already heard that the Williams Selyem Tasting Salon is once again open by appointment for you and your guests to enjoy a private tasting. New safety guidelines when you visit will ensure a safe environment for all! We have implemented protocols designed to adhere to advice set forth by the State of California, which include but are not limited to the following: requiring face masks for all, observing social distancing, and sanitizing all surfaces between each reservation. A full list our safety precautions can be viewed on our website on the Visit page.

Visit Saitone Vineyard

If you have been to the Estate for a private tasting and would like to experience a different side of Williams Selyem, please contact us about the unique option of joining us for a private tour of our Saitone Estate Vineyard. If you are unfamiliar with this incredible property, it was planted in 1885 and is one of the oldest vineyards remaining in the Olivet-Piner region of the Russian River Valley. It is worth a visit to walk through the vineyard with these incredible gnarly, head-trained vines, as well as seeing the carefully refurbished barn and farm equipment also dating back to the late 1800s. Please contact us at tours@williamsselyem.com for more information. We will be debuting our inaugural release of the Saitone Estate Carignane shortly, and if you visit the property you can try it while walking among the block it was made from.

Virtual Tastings Now Available

For those who cannot join us at the winery in-person, we invite you to connect with us for a private virtual tasting. We have several exclusive virtual tasting packages available. Each package includes an opportunity to purchase a specific set of wines along with a guided tasting with a member of our hospitality team from the comfort of your own home. Please email us at tours@williamsselyem.com to let us know you are interested.

Monthly Webinars

Inspired by our successful Zoom tastings we have started a monthly series of webinars that are open to all list members to participate. We would love for you to join us! These monthly webinars will preview upcoming releases, dive into food and wine pairings, shine a spotlight on specific vintages, and much more. Our first was held on July 16th and you can view it, and schedule for the rest of the year by navigating to the Visit page of our website.

Pickup Weekend

At the time of writing, we are certain that we will not be able to hold our California pickup weekend event in the traditional format. We truly could not imagine this just a few months ago and are saddened that we’ll miss connecting with you in person. We are doubtful that we will be able to have our Millbrook Pickup weekend as well, given the smaller number of attendees we are still holding out hope that we can do some form of it in November. We will update you as things become clearer.

While we highly encourage that you ship your order, we will be offering curbside pick-ups by appointment for those in the immediate area through the end of the year. We thank you in advance for your understanding and your help to ensure the safety of both employees and your fellow members.

2018 Vintage Notes

The winter months were very dry and unseasonably warm weather in the early part of the season, but by mid-February the rains had returned nearly doubling the total rainfall and staved off any threat of an early budbreak. The much-needed rains continued through March when the weather warmed up and largely Westside Road was in bud break by the end of the month. 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. As June approached, the flowering commenced under ideal temperatures. Below average temperatures ensued for a week and half which extended the bloom schedule. The net effect of the cooling trend created a looser cluster and some millerandage or “hens and chicks”. This is highly desirable for many reasons including better phenolic development and better air flow through the cluster to prevent mold. The crop loads ended up being near historic averages with great vine balance going into the harvest season. The harvest started on the 16th of August under ideal conditions with moderate temperatures and no wild temperature swings. The vintage highlights site specificity and elegance while displaying concentration and balance, another great Williams Selyem year in the making. – VP of Winemaking Jeff Mangahas

Tasting Notes by VP of Winemaking Jeff Mangahas

Pinot Noir – Elegant

2018 Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir – Yorkville Highlands AVA (13.8% alc., $65)

Red cherry and dark strawberry notes mix with the perfume of carnation, while subtle notes of spice and fresh herbs add depth and dimension to this wonderful offering from the hillsides of the Yorkville Highlands. With plantings nearly 30 years old, these vines are in their prime. The palate is unique with a wonderful juxtaposition of power and elegance. The tannins coat the palate and spread out in every direction leaving a gravelly, minerally sensation in its wake. Minerals typify the Weir site owing to the rocky soil and high elevation. Mid-term cellaring will round out the palate, but this wine can certainly be enjoyed young with the right food. Sashimi is the perfect partner for this wine, as the tannins complement the fattiness in the rich cuts of fish.

Pinot Noir – Medium-Bodied

2018 Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley AVA (13.6% alc., $65)

Located on the hillsides on Westside Road, the Bucher Vineyard is unique and distinctive. Deep and dark in color, the wine showcases flavors of black raspberry and is layered with tons of earthy and soil- inflected character. With aeration, notes of fresh herbs and dried flowers are coaxed from the glass. Opulent and round in the mouth; berry and red fruits shine through the wonderful loamy complexion. The acid is nearly invisible on the palate, with an excellent tannin structure to prolong the finish. Give this wine a few years to come together and you will be rewarded with a creamy, elegant expression of Pinot Noir.

2018 Calegari Vineyard – Russian River Valley AVA (13.9% alc., $65)

In this quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, a bowl full of red fruits mix with aromas of roses and lavender, while notes of bergamot add liveliness to the nose. The palate is equally sensational, with an abundance of red fruits and a strong impression of English Breakfast tea starting from the mid-palate to the finish. Lurking in the background is a mineral impression owing to the red, rocky loam soil in which this vineyard is planted. At nearly 20 years old, these vines are in their prime.

2018 Eastside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley AVA (13.6% alc., $65)

The Eastside Road vineyards from which this wine is crafted harmonize to make a wonderfully balanced wine. You can pick out the rose petals from Calegari, the earth and berry flavors from Foss, and the precision of red fruits from MacGregor. In the mouth, the balance is impeccable with juicy acidity that is wrapped around a fleshy, rich core. The finish is delightfully refreshing with a lift of citrus and black tea.

2018 Foss Vineyard – Russian River Valley AVA (13.5% alc., $65)

In the glass, Amarena cherry and berry notes are immediately apparent. The aromas are layered and so tightly interwoven that the fruit components, dried herbs, and other earthy elements create a Zen-like harmony. The palate is equally balanced with equal parts texture, length, and breadth which come together and flow seamlessly across the tongue. On the finish, berry flavors and tangerine notes mix with minerals and creates a wonderfully delicate loamy sensation.

2018 Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir – San Benito County AVA (13.3% alc., $65)

Pomegranate, berry fruits, and plum mix with hints of fresh cut flowers and savory herbs in yet another great showing from our Vista Verde Vineyard. Underneath the fruit elements are some deeper tones along with the prototypical flinty, mineral-driven aromas. Broad and expansive on the palate, the wine showcases minerals across the tongue along with berry fruits and a strong impression of Oolong tea on the finish. The components for Vista Verde are now sourced exclusively from steep limestone hillsides which creates a wine with structure and verve.

2018 Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley AVA (14.1% alc., $85)

The nose is simply mesmerizing with effusive and delicate aromas of flowers, strawberry, and cherry, while notes of crushed rocks adding further intrigue. The palate showcases red fruits with notes of black tea, citrus, and a mineral-laden finish. The harmony in this wine is compelling and there is a track record for ageability.

2018 Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley AVA (13.9% alc., $85)

This vineyard enjoys wonderful exposure on the top of the hills of Eastside Road and is always one of our first vineyards to pick. In the glass, a perfume of dried rose petals and crunchy red fruits abound. With some air, notes of dark berries, star anise, and dried herbs emerge along with a mineral impression. The tannins have a tea-like complexion and the finish showcases notes of citrus peel. Precision is the best word to describe this Pinot Noir, as it shows great acidity on the palate which is well buffered with a sappy fruit character.

2018 Rochioli Riverblock – Russian River Valley AVA (14.2% alc., $85)

The importance of this site cannot be overstated, and rightfully so. The Rochioli Vineyard enjoys one of the best microclimates in the Middle Reach, with the confluence of warmth and coolness at the banks of the Russian River. The net effect is a long, slow maturation of the fruit that yields a kaleidoscope of fruit notes along with other earthy aromas. There is excellent power on the palate and the wine showcases depth and size without ever being heavy.

2018 Williams Selyem Estate Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley AVA (13.3% alc., $110)

The vivid red color connotes an aroma of vibrant red fruits, which is varied with a perfume of dried flowers and wood spices. A subtle, earthy beetroot element belies the fruit notes and adds complexity, typical of Pinot Noir. With aeration, the wine reveals layer upon layer of fruit, spice, and minerals. The palate is equally exciting, with berry fruits mixing with red fruits. The texture is lithe, owing to perfect ratio of extract to acidity. The mid-palate is highlighted by minerals and an oyster shell sensation, a standard for the Estate, and drives from the back all the way to the finish. While certainly delicious today, this wine will benefit from a few years in the cellar.

Pinot Noir – Full-Bodied

2018 Ferrington Vineyard – Anderson Valley AVA (13.5% alc., $65)

Ferrington is one of the classic vineyards in the Anderson Valley, and this vintage offers highlights of red fruits and berry notes along with hints of carnation. Warm by day and very cold at night, the temperature swing creates a brightness in the wine. With aeration, notes of bergamot and cedar add a complexity to the compact nose. Red fruits abound on the palate along with a strong impression of English Breakfast tea. There is excellent structure to give this wine longevity and it should age very well.

2018 Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast AVA (13.6% alc., $85)

This vineyard is always producing showstoppers and the 2018 vintage is no exception. On the nose, berry fruits mix with pomegranate and blueberry notes, and a hint of citrus keeps the aromas lively and vibrant. Deeper more brooding notes of tree bark and a sous bois character add bass notes and layers to the exotic aromas. The flavors mimic the nose with flavors of a berry basket, along with forest floor elements. Vibrant acidity keeps the palate fresh, while the extract and robust tannin saturate the palate. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, high above the community of Occidental, the vines struggle to ripen the small clusters and thus creates a wine of intensity and singularity.

2018 Precious Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast AVA (13.0% alc., $105)

This unique wine is grown on a mountain top, on the second ridge in from the Pacific Ocean. Compact and intense on the nose, the aromas meld into one. Notes of red fruits, citrus, currant, flowers, and crushed rocks can be discerned, but coalesce easily into a beautiful perfume. The palate is tannic and intense with notes of dried herbs and an earthy, terracotta-like flavor. The fruit elements come late on the palate due to the tannic load on the front end, owing to the high elevation and dry farming of the site. Give this vintage time in the cellar to fully blossom.


2018 Allen Vineyard Chardonnay – Russian River Valley AVA (14.7% alc., $65)

Perfumed with pear and musk melon notes, the nose is beautifully intricate. Hints of green tea and freshly cut herbs add another beguiling layer to this complex wine. The palate is laser-focused, with acidity that drives to the back palate and carries the pear and melon flavors. Powdery in texture, the tannins add a depth typical of the site. Serve at cellar temperature to enjoy all the elements of this gorgeous offering.

2018 Drake Estate Chardonnay – Russian River Valley AVA (14.3% alc., $65)

On the nose, aromas of Meyer lemon and green apple abound, with highlights of chamomile flowers and elements of greengage, which offer complexity and intrigue. The oak is well integrated and nearly invisible in this elegant offering from our cool climate estate vineyard in Guerneville. Included in the blend for the first time are newly developed blocks planted to heritage Calera and Wente Chardonnay clones. On the mid-palate, there is a lift of Meyer lemon peel and green tea notes. Due to the new plantings, the palate has an excellent tannin structure and finishes with elements of crushed minerals.

2018 Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Chardonnay – Russian River Valley AVA (14.8% alc., $65)

Notes of yellow apple and Comice pear abound in this outstanding offering from our Estate Vineyard on the eastside of the Russian River. Hints of quince, tarragon, and green tea add a wonderful highlight to the nose, while crushed quartz further adds to the perfume. The palate is laser-focused with citrus, pear, and apple notes which flood the mid-palate. The wine transitions to a slightly piquant sensation with a touch of quinine on the finish.

2018 Williams Selyem Estate Chardonnay – Russian River Valley AVA (14.6% alc., $65)

The medium-yellow color with a green glint connotes a freshness and liveliness to this wine. Notes of green pear and yellow apple mix with nutmeg and wood spices. Highlights of flowers and honeysuckle mix with a musk melon, owing to some of the musqué clones of Chardonnay which are represented in this field blend. The mouthfeel is excellent and balanced perfectly by acidity. The mid-palate is full and the polished tannins transition to a wonderfully subtle minerality on the finish, which clings to the palate.


2018 Bacigalupi Zinfandel – Russian River Valley AVA (15.1% alc., $65)

Boysenberry and bramble jump from the glass in this classic old vine Zinfandel from Westside Road. Hints of blueberry and raspberry add to the kaleidoscopic of aromatics. Wood spices mix with anise and clove notes to offer depth and complexity. The palate is very polished, with elegant tannins and well- balanced acidity. The Russian River Valley climate is perfect for Zinfandel, as the cool, foggy nights help preserve the freshness. There is excellent sap to the middle palate which makes this wine so easy to enjoy yet complex enough to pair with food.

2018 Saitone Estate Zinfandel – Russian River Valley AVA (14.9% alc., $65)

The deep, vibrant color is almost electric. Perfumed with lavender, blue fruits, and crunchy red fruits, the Saitone Estate Zinfandel aromatics are breathtakingly layered. On the nose, notes of spice, anise, bramble, and hints of cedar all shine through. I prefer to enjoy this wine in a Burgundy glass to bring out the aromatics. The palate is wonderfully complex and layered with fruit bowl flavors along with citrus peel and potpourri flavors. These old vines create a wine with serious extract which clings to the palate with tenacity.


2014 Vista Verde Vineyard Port – San Benito County AVA (20.0% alc., $40/375mL)

Aromas of berry fruits and fresh flowers jump from the glass, while supporting notes of mocha and wood spices add to the potpourri of aromatics. On the palate, the texture is lithe with the right balance of sweetness to tannin and acid. Flavors of citrus, milk chocolate, and cedar meld with the berry notes all the way to the elegant finish. Enjoy this Port wine with all things chocolate, or with strong cheese. Please note that this will be the last offering of our Port; it is a great final chapter in a series of wonderful wines.

Important Dates

  • August 30 | Release Closes
  • October 26 | Shipping begins, weather permitting
  • November 9 | Shipping begins – Hot States (AL, AZ, FL, GA, LA, NC, SC, TN, & TX), weather permitting
  • August – December | Curbside pickups by appointment at the Williams Selyem Estate October – December | Pickups by appointment at Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

Ordering Information

-Online ordering is strongly encouraged! To access your allocation, use the customized hyperlink in
the email we’ll send to you on the opening day of the release. Or, sign in via our website using your user credentials.
– Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Allocations are not guaranteed; they represent the number of bottles available to you until the wine sells out (which is often before the last day to order). Please place your order as soon as possible for best order fulfillment.

– For bottles beyond your allocation, please use the wish list column. These requests will be filled as inventory levels allow.
– While online ordering is strongly encouraged, you may fax your completed order form to
(707) 431-4862. If paying by check, please send your payment to 7227 Westside Rd, Healdsburg CA 95448

– Order confirmations will be sent via email. Please verify your email address!
– Faxed or mailed orders submitted without payment will not be filled. Phone and email orders are not accepted.


-Wines will begin shipping on Monday, October 26 for orders shipping to non-hot states, weather permitting. Orders shipping to ‘Hot States’ (AL, AZ, FL, GA, LA, NC, SC, TN & TX) will ship on Monday, November 9, weather permitting.
– Some states do not permit direct wine shipments, or they may limit the amount of wine we can ship to you. Please see the back of your order form for more details and shipping/handling fees.

– We require a shipping address where there is someone 21+ years of age available to sign for the package during regular business hours.

Wine Pickup

– If you intend to pick up your wine at Williams Selyem Winery, make your and choose the “CA Curbside Pickup” option.
– Our Fall 2020 Pickup Weekend Event has been cancelled but curbside pickup will be available by appointment starting August 17, through December 13. Please contact us to schedule your pickup date and time.
– If your wine is not picked up by Sunday, December 13, it will be shipped to the billing address on the order on Tuesday, December 15. Please note that shipping charges will apply.
– If you prefer to have a third party to pick up on your behalf, please select this option from the drop- down menu in your shopping cart or note it on the ship-to section of your order form. Most of the following companies require an account to be established prior to order pickup. Any shipping arrangements must be made directly with the third party of your choice.

All Ways Cool, storage in Santa Rosa (707) 545-7450
Fitch Mountain Packaging, in Healdsburg (707) 433-1247 Oeno Vaults, storage in Santa Rosa (707) 595-3612
55 Degrees Napa Valley, storage in St. Helena (707) 963-5513 Vinfolio, storage in American Canyon (800) 969-1961

– If you intend to pick up your order at Millbrook Winery in New York, please select the “NY Pickup” option. Orders will be available for pick up from November 8-December 31. If you are unable to pick up your wine by December 31, please contact us to provide a shipping address.
– The Fall 2020 Pickup Weekend Event in NY will be held on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 8-10. If you select this option, you will receive a letter with additional details and directions closer to the date of the event.
Address: 26 Wing Road, Millbrook, NY 12545; Phone: (845)677-8383 ext. 21; Email address: millbrookwinery@millwine.com; Website: www.millbrookwine.com