Fall 2021 Newsletter
A Note From John Dyson, Proprietor
We hope your life is beginning to feel normal again. We thank you for your support during the pandemic and we are grateful for things getting back to normal here at the winery.
All is going well at Williams Selyem and in our vineyards. At this point, it looks to be an excellent crop for the 2021 vintage. The drought will not affect us, as we have taken precautions over the years to have good wells with an ample supply of water. As you may know, the west is very dry and we hope that the augmented fire control forces will be able to contain things, should we have another active fire season. At the winery, we have taken precautionary measures to reduce any flammable materials, like brush or grass. We now also have generators for every building in case we experience more blackouts.
And, as we will inform you in depth in the next newsletter, Jeff and his skilled band of winemakers were able to make superb wines of the 2020 harvest despite the fires, in large part because we picked before or just after they started. There were some wines we had to discard as, unhappily; they were not to our standards. We will give you a lot of additional information next time, but please understand that the quantities in your allocations next year will be reduced.
Importantly, we are currently fully open for visits at the Estate and tours of the Saitone Old Zinfandel Vineyard property and exhibit. We have lots of space inside and out to accommodate you and any guests you would like to bring with you.
The 2019 vintage wines are just fabulous. I tasted them on several days with Jeff and his team and it is a stand-out vintage that we are very proud of. I am also delighted to offer a new wine to all of you in this release. Some of you may already know of the Savoy Vineyard located in the Anderson Valley. This vineyard is an excellent addition to our already stellar line up and the inaugural vintage Jeff and his crew crafted is not to be missed.
At the beginning of 2021, Kathe and I announced that the Faiveley Family was joining us with a minority stake in the winery. Since then, we have heard from many of you about this and we want to clarify what this means for you and the winery.
First of all, this is a minority stake. I, and the superb team at Williams Selyem, will all stay in place and control the winery day-to-day. Due to Covid, Erwan Faiveley, the extremely talented and knowledgeable head of the Domaine, has not been able to visit yet, but we are expecting that he can do so in August. We have been in frequent contact, and we are anxious for their family to become completely familiar with Williams Selyem over the next several years. We do not expect to change control or staff during the next three years at least. The choice of the Faiveley family is due to shared standards, values, and expertise in making stellar Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. They also have a long-term family approach like ours and a long history of excellence.
I emphasize that for now, and the immediate future, I will remain chairman, Jeff will remain in charge of winemaking, Eric of finance, and Mark in marketing. We are fortunate to have an experienced team that has worked together for many years. Even if in the future the Faiveley family increases their role, they
have already asked me to stay on and guide things as long as I am able to do so. Since running a winery and vineyards of this quality is a joy, I am happy to do so, God willing.
Finally, if you are travelling to Burgundy, now that it is opening up a bit, the Faiveley Winery (www.domaine-faiveley.com/en/) has opened a tasting room at Cote de Nuits and would be happy to host Williams Selyem list members and friends. They see the advantages of such a tasting room and French law has just permitted this. I have visited their winery and caves, and heartily recommend that you contact us if you are headed that way!
2019 Vintage Summary for F21 Newsletter by Jeff Mangahas
The 2019 growing season started with ample rainfall in the winter months and finished well above average with over 51 inches on Westside Road. Wet soil and cool temperatures conspired to delay bud break nearly two weeks later than historical average. Moderate to slightly above average temperatures ensued, and the vegetative cycle caught up aggressively.
Flowering started under ideal conditions but a late May rain event delayed flowering for a week once better weather returned. This had some impact mostly where there was full bloom and created some shatter and smaller clusters with millerandage or “hens and chick”. These smaller clusters are desirable in that they are looser and the berries small which tend to yield concentrated and flavorful wines. Thankfully, the remainder of the growing season was largely uneventful less one heat event in mid- August.
August was largely fog-free which has become the norm as of late. The result of little fog intrusion is that the nights were warmer and the days sunnier which tended to move photosynthesis and maturation along. With the ideal conditions of the early season and overall moderate weather, the gap on a later bud break was shortened and the harvest started on about average. The harvest schedule was regular and rather leisurely with grapes arriving to the winery in pristine condition. The 2019 wines are impressive with excellent color, depth and precision of site. The polish of the tannins and softer acid profiles will offer early appeal but can certainly hold on for years.
Tasting Notes & Savoy Vineyard Info
Pinot Noir – Elegant
2019 Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir $65 13.3% alc. San Benito County AVA
The terrifically dense color is a sight for sore eyes. Aromas of fresh berries and dried rose petals abound with underlying notes of anise and citrus. Subtle elements of allspice, nutmeg, coffee, and crushed rocks add layers to this complex offering. The palate is textural, broad, and mouth-filling with a strong impression of black tea with berry fruit flavors intertwined. The acid perfectly and seamlessly balances out the richness to create a sense of Zen and harmony.
2019 Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir $65 13.9% alc. Yorkville Highlands AVA
The old vines in the Weir Vineyard are remarkably consistent and deliver wines of purity and uniqueness. Red fruited aromas with hints of grenadine and carnation lift from the glass. Highlights of fresh herbs add an airiness to the delightful aromatics. Refreshing and bright, the red fruits shine through on the palate. Taut with refined tannins, minerals, and zest acidity, this is a great candidate to age for a few years.
2019 Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir $90 14.0% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
The Allen Vineyard is situated on the hillside above Rochioli Vineyard and the Russian River, and the resulting Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir is all about refinement and elegance. Beyond the floral and red fruited complexion are aromas of crushed rocks and tea-like elements. On the palate, the age of the vines comes through in a detailed and quietly powerful way that is ethereal.
Pinot Noir – Medium-Bodied
2019 Calegari Vineyard Pinot Noir $65 13.3% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
A classically styled Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, the Calegari Vineyard is all about red fruit. Wild strawberry, dark cherry, dried cranberry, and hints of red raspberry are layered with hints of wood spices and aromas of a bouquet of flowers. The palate features citrus peel and red fruit elements with a strong impression of tea. Enjoy this wine with smoked duck breast smoked with tea.
2019 Foss Vineyard Pinot Noir $65 13.4% alc Russian River Valley AVA
This wine is terrifically complex with a layered nose of berry, tangerine, and spice box notes which jump from the glass. Hints of five-spice and hoisin add a depth and complexity that is beguiling. Fat and rich in the mouth, the wine fills the palate with fruit and savory elements and finishes with a tea-like sensation. Subtle acidity supports the broad mouthfeel and lets the grandeur of this offering unfold on the tongue.
2019 Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir $85 13.8% alc. Anderson Valley AVA
The newest addition to the Williams Selyem portfolio is a true classic of the Anderson Valley. Situated in the “deep end” of the valley, Savoy Vineyard enjoys cool, coastal fog from the Navarro River. Blueberry and Morello cherry, which are typical flavor profiles for this part of the valley, jump from the glass. Hints of pennyroyal add to the concentrated, and layered, aromatic profile. The nose translates to the palate with the addition of citrus peel and subtle tea-like flavors. The conclusion of the wine has a distinctive cherry pit sensation which is delightful.
2019 Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir $90 13.6% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
The darker spectrum of red fruits in this Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir dominates the compact and dense nose. Multifaceted and complex notes of anise, cranberry, and tangerine emerge with aeration. English breakfast tea and hints of leather complete the aromatic picture. Mouth-filling and round, the palate speaks volumes; red fruits with wood spices, tea, and dried herbs abound. A citrus-like acidity ties everything together and transitions to a mineral-driven finish.
2019 Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir $90 14.1% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Counterpoint to the hillside of the Allen Vineyard, the Rochioli Riverblock sits just above the bank of the Russian River. The deeper soils allow the vines to slowly mature and develop dark, baritone-like aromas and flavors. A basket full of berries dominate the nose along with fennel fronds and citrus. On the palate, the wine is harmonious and dense with dark fruit flavors and earthy undertones. Older vines from 1989 make up the bulk of the wine which translates into an unsurpassed polish to the tannins.
2019 Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir $110 13.4% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
A beautiful color and density invite the senses to explore this Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir which offers a mix of red and black fruits and layers of wood spices and flowers. This classic Pinot Noir from the Middle Reach Neighborhood exhibits notes of earth, crushed rocks, hints of sassafras, and black tea that are layered together to offer complexity. The palate showcases, zesty acidity with minerals and refined tannins along with flavors of citrus and red fruits. This is an elegant and refined wine that will benefit from a few years of ageing.
Pinot Noir – Full-Bodied
2019 Eastside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir $65 13.7% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Sourced from hilltop vineyards on the eastside of the Russian River, this wine offers up dark berry fruit flavors with hints of anise, fennel, and subtle earthiness. The warmer and drier microclimate hastens ripening and, typically, harvest first begins in this part of the Valley. Dark-fruited, complex, and layered, Eastside Road Neighbors is typified by richness with robust tannins and seamless acidity which add a freshness and enables longevity.
2019 Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir $65 13.4% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Showcasing the earthier side of Pinot Noir, Bucher is typified by a dense core of raspberry fruit with a loamy and meaty character. With air, the wine opens to more delicate notes of flowers with hints of Herbs de Provence. The aromatic profile comes through on the palate and is wrapped up with robust tannins that linger on the finish. With a few years of age, the wine will come together and develop a sublime creamy texture.
2019 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir $70 13.6% alc. Anderson Valley AVA
The deep, dark color of this Ferrington Pinot Noir translates into deep, dark red fruit aromas with highlights of fresh raspberry. Notes of cinnamon and crushed rocks provide a supporting role in this wonderfully complex wine. The large diurnal temperature shift in this region preserves freshness and retains acidity, a true hallmark of this part of the Anderson Valley. Mouth-filling and rich, the wine showcases red fruits and citrus which create a laser focus on the tongue. The acidity shines through and cleanses the palate for a refreshing sensation. Textural and alluring, this wine has it all!
2019 Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir $85 14.1% alc. Sonoma Coast AVA
Unmistakable in its singularity, the aromas of the blue and black fruits are perfectly complemented with hints of the forest. Nestled in and amongst redwoods along the Sonoma Coast, there is a true sense of place in the DNA of this wine. Hints of cedar and Asian spices complete the panoramic profile. Palate- staining with dark fruits, cedar and hints of coffee, the texture is outstanding and has a persistent cling all the way to the finish.
2019 Precious Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir $110 14.1% alc. Sonoma Coast AVA
A certain wild character is immediately evident on the nose of this Precious Mountain Pinot Noir which perfectly embodies the uniqueness of this site. Dark berry aromas, pomegranate, and dried herb notes combine in a very complex and layered nose. Hints of soy are juxtaposed with very light and airy tones of cedar and citrus. Cloaked in the wonderful extract are robust mountaintop tannins that drive to an elegant finish of citrus and minerals. As usual, this wine will benefit from a little age, if you can keep your hands off it.
2019 Allen Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.5% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Aromas of yellow apple and Comice pear mix with hints of nutmeg and allspice in another great offering from the Allen Vineyard, while hints of green tea and fresh herbs offer additional complexity. The mouth-coating texture is supported by a terrific tannin structure that carries all the way to the piquant finish.
2019 Drake Estate Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.3% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Meyer lemon and yellow apple notes, along with hints of nutmeg and wood spices, highlight the nose. Round and rich in the mouth, there is a mid-palate perfume of fruit and hints fresh herbs emerge after a few sips. Underneath the richness lies a subtle tannic structure that offers a little grip which carries through to the finish. The Drake Estate is a classic cool climate Chardonnay.
2019 Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.4% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Sourced from older vines planted to the Wente selection, the nose consists of spiced pear, crushed minerals, and fresh herbs, while subtle hints of green tea and ginger further add intrigue to the aromatics in this Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard offering. Acid-driven on the palate, the extract and weight of the wine harmoniously balances the acid. An overlay of yellow fruits, along with hints of flowers and subtle minerality, melt into the backdrop of the layered palate profile.
2019 Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.2% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Jasmine flowers, melon, and yellow and green fruits abound in this unique Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard offering. Planted as a field blend of many different clones and selections of Chardonnay, the aromas and flavors are kaleidoscopic. A floral lift with melon and yellow fruit flavors dominates the palate while the subtle tannic structure offers terrific cling. Generally lower in acid, the wine is generous without sacrificing freshness.
2019 Bacigalupi Zinfandel $65 15.1% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
The Bacigalupi Zinfandel exudes the purest expression of the varietal. A fruit bowl of red, blue, and black fruit aromas abounds with hints of anise and cracked pepper. Polished and bold, the palate strikes a nice balance of acid, tannin, and fruit to offer a wine with harmoniously balanced.
2019 Saitone Estate Vineyard Zinfandel $65 15.0% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Saitone is a classic in the making. This old vine Zinfandel vineyard in the Piner-Olivet region of the Russian River Valley is unparalleled for producing wines with density, precision, and verve. Highlighted by red fruits, the aromatics meld into notes of fennel, hints of peppercorn, and five-spice. Taut on the palate, the wine showcases liveliness and freshness with a dense core of dark fruits and a terrific finish of minerals and crushed rocks.
Savoy Vineyard in the Anderson Valley
Located just past the town of Philo in the northwest end of Anderson Valley, the Savoy Vineyard was planted by Richard Savoy in 1991. This gently sloping site is 44 southwest-facing acres and is planted to both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The vineyard is located in the ‘Deep End’ of the valley, approximately 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The valley itself is 15 miles long and cuts laterally through the Coastal Range. It is surrounded by dense forests on the southwestern side and grassy hills to the north and east. The area is heavily influenced by
the cool marine air, with fog frequently blanketing the region. The result is a wide diurnal range, with the daily low temperatures often up to 50 degrees lower than the daily highs. This cooler, coastal climate produces Pinot Noirs that showcase a beautiful concentration of dark, elegant fruit.
We are thrilled to add the Savoy Pinot Noir to our outstanding lineup of wines from exceptional vineyards, and we have no doubt that you will enjoy this singular wine from an equally singular site.
August 8 | Release Closes
October 25 | Shipping begins – Main ship date
Sept 3 – Oct 31 | Pickups at WS Estate, by appointment only
November 2 | Ship unclaimed CA PU orders, shipping charges will apply November 8 | Shipping begins – Hot States (AL, AZ, FL, GA, LA, NC, SC, TN, & TX) TBD | NY Pickup
-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 bottles beyond your allocation, please use the wish list column. These requests will be filled, if possible, after the close of the release on August 30. You do not need to include payment for wish list wines; we will charge or invoice your account later if the request is filled.
– While online ordering is strongly encouraged, you may fax your completed order form to
(707) 431-4862. If paying by check, please send via mail 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 25 and on November 8 for orders shipping to (AL, AZ, FL, GA, LA, NC, SC, TN, & TX).
– 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 someone 21+ years of age will be available to sign for the package during regular business hours.
– If you intend to pick up your wine at Williams Selyem Winery, make your selection of 6 or more bottles and choose the “CA Pickup” option on your order.
– Winery pickups are available by appointment at Williams Selyem from Sept 3– Oct 31
– Orders not picked up by October 31 will be shipped, at the customer’s expense, to the billing
address listed on the order on Tuesday, November 2.
– 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. Note that the following require an account to be established prior to order pickup. Any shipping arrangements must be made directly with the third party of your choice. Third party vendors are solely for storage or shipment—no pickups available from their physical location.
55 Degrees Napa Valley, in Napa (707) 963-5513 All Ways Cool, in Santa Rosa (707) 545-7450 Oeno Vaults, in Santa Rosa (707) 595-3612 Vinfolio, in San Francisco (800) 969-1961
*Fitch Mountain Packaging has permanently closed.
– The Fall 2021 NY Pickup Weekend event will likely be a modified version of the usual event. If you select this option we will communicate event details with you as we get closer to the original event time frame, in November
Address: 26 Wing Road, Millbrook, NY 12545 | Phone: (845) 677.8383 ext. 21
Email address: email@example.com | Website: www.millbrookwine.com