Fall 2023 Newsletter
We are still feeling a renewed appreciation for life opening back up after the diversions of the last three years. Even so, many of our usual practices have undergone changes to which everyone must adapt. While change is difficult—especially for a company so steeped in tradition—we’ve been challenged to move forward in an ever-changing landscape where the comfort and familiarity of some of our old ways is no longer possible. Even though so much in the world has changed, we are thankful that Williams Selyem can still present its constant and unifying theme: Make the Best Wines, from the Best Grapes, from the Best Growers.
NEW CHALLENGES PRESENT NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Rather than something to dread, change can shift your perspective to new possibilities. With a new outlook, we moved our packing and shipping area to a different location on the property to give more much-needed space to our hard-working production crew. As a result, both teams have more space to operate with better efficiency. Along with more adequate space for accessible, on-site wine inventory, the warehouse team now also has space to house our large format library inventory. We are delighted to be able to have big bottles more readily accessible for you. If you have any requests, please let us know!
EMBRACING CHANGE TOGETHER
Another area of change we are actively working on is member experiences. Let us assist in helping you plan a celebration around an occasion like a special birthday, marriage proposal, or anniversary. Remember, visits to the Estate are complimentary, and guests are welcome too! Contact our team at least two weeks in advance of your anticipated visit so we can be sure to reserve an appointment for you.
FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS
While spending time and sharing wine with you at the Estate is more rewarding than ever after the closures that we all experienced, we realize that being together on-site isn’t always possible. In that spirit, we would like to lend a helping hand from afar regarding wine serving etiquette. Large format wines add an elegant, festive touch to any dinner party. It’s always a good idea to set large format bottles upright a day in advance to let any sediment fall to the bottom of the bottle. Opening and decanting your large format wines, before your guests arrive, is always a nice gesture and allows you to spend more time mingling! Watch Tasting Room Manager, and Certified Sommelier Jesse Erickson, demonstrate how to open a large format using a special tool called an ‘ah-so.’ You can find a short video on our website under the “Resources” section.
How many bottles will you need? Here is a cheat sheet to help with your ‘wine math’ for serving sizes, where a serving is one-150mL (or ~5oz) pour:
Magnum (1.5L) = two 750ml bottles (10 servings)
Double Magnum (3L) = four 750mL bottles (20 servings)
Jeroboam (4.5L – 5L) = six or more 750mL bottles (30 servings)
Methuselah/Imperial (6L) = eight 750mL bottles (40 servings)
Salmanazar (9L) = twelve 750mL bottles, one full case of wine! (60 servings)
Balthazar (12L) = sixteen 750mL bottles (80 servings)
Nebuchadnezzar (16L) = twenty 750mL bottles (100 servings)
When it comes to a food paring for your event, we present the most recent recipe developed by Lead Estate Host Kathleen deChadenedes. The dish, Savory Lamb Leg with Flageolet Beans, is a nice complement to the Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir. The recipe below serves 8-10 people.
8lbs lamb leg, bone-in
½ c. mixed fresh perennial herb leaves, such as thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary or sage, minced (choose at least 3)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 T. capers, rinsed and minced
8 anchovy filets, blotted of excess oil and minced
1 T. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 450F.Trim excess fat from leg. In a small bowl, combine herbs, garlic, capers and anchovies. Combine to form a paste. With the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife, cut ¾” deep slits all over lamb. Stuff slits with paste. Rub olive oil over meat. Season all over with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 min., then decrease heat to 375F and add water to roasting pan to prevent smoking and burning of meat drippings. Allow 10 min. per pound for roasting time. Keep adding water throughout roasting to maintain ½” of water in the pan. Check for doneness with a thermometer. When deep muscle temperature reaches 135F, remove meat from oven and let rest 20-30 min. before slicing. Meat will continue to cook while resting and temperature should reach 140F which is medium rare for lamb. Degrease pan juices. Add 1/2c. red wine and deglaze pan juices on stove top over medium high heat. Reduce liquid volume by half.
Flageolet Beans Preparation
1lb dried flageolet beans (or any white dried bean) 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
Sort through dried beans for rocks or dirt. Soak overnight in cold water. Drain soaking liquid and add beans to a heavy bottomed soup pot. Cover with cold water, keeping water level 2” above beans. Do not add salt at this stage. Cook, covered over medium low heat for about 45 min or until tender, but still firm. Drain beans, discarding garlic and bay leaf, and return to pot. Add reduced pan juices and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve beans with sliced roast lamb.
Notes & Tips
•Look for domestic lamb, preferably from a local producer.
•Go easy on rosemary and sage if including them in herb mixture. Both are quite pungent.
•Flageolet beans are a classic accompaniment to roast lamb. They are the most refined of all dried beans – slender, curved, and pale green. Rancho Gordo’s website is a reliable source. They are worth the effort to procure, but any white dried bean can be substituted.
•Round out the meal with roasted cauliflower and some braised greens such as chard or kale.
2021 Vintage Summary for by VP, Director of Winemaking Jeff Mangahas
With only about 14 inches of rain for the 2021 growing season, the plants were challenged from the outset of the year. A cold and dry late winter and early spring brought some uneven growth and in general the plants were more stressed than usual due to the drought conditions. The canopies were a little smaller than average going into the flowering and thankfully the weather was ideal and mild. Flowering is the most important time as it determines the quality and quantity and 2021 yielded an average to slightly below average crop size with outstanding quality. Largely, the growing season saw mild temperatures but with several heat events scattered throughout the season. Due to the changing climate, fog intrusion has been minimal the last few vintages. Fog is important in keeping the nighttime temperatures cool while refreshing the plants and keeping them hydrated, especially under severe conditions. 2021 thankfully saw the return of the fog and saved the vintage and the season finished up around the historical average for temperatures. August and September did see some elevated temperatures, but the morning fog and slow ramp up of daily temperatures were ideal and mitigated any heat damage to the fruit. Despite the inauspicious start to the year, the wines showcase terrific verve, character, and site specificity.
Pinot Noir – Elegant
2021 Calegari Vineyard Pinot Noir $75 14.1% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Red fruits and rose petals are showcased in this beautifully aromatic wine. Hints of musk, potpourri and sassafras are layered into the brightness and offer a compelling depth. Citrus notes and black tea flavors abound on the palate and typify the wine. Vibrant and fresh, the food pairings are endless from richer meat dishes to mushrooms to sushi.
2021 Foss Vineyard Pinot Noir $75 13.9% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Fresh berry and cedar box aromas combine into a complex, earthy undertone. Asian spice notes add to the wonderfully layered nose. Hints of Costa Rican coffee further add to the brooding aromatics. Supple and round, the sensation of the tannins is quite elegant and polished. The acidity in the midpalate lifts the berry flavors and carries the wine to a balanced and polished finish.
2021 Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir $100 14.1% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Elegant and precise, the Allen Vineyard is a classic vineyard site that epitomizes both the Williams Selyem style and the beauty of the Russian River Valley. Dark cherry and dried strawberry notes abound in the glass along with the signature bouquet of flowers. Subtle aromas of wood spices and cinnamon add character and depth to the nose. Elements of black tea combine with red fruits then transition to savory notes on the palate. The tension of the tannins, crushed rock and mineral impressions complete the palate and offer a beautifully elegant finish.
2021 Cohn Vineyard Pinot Noir $100 13.8% alc. Sonoma County AVA
Planted in 1970, the Cohn Vineyard produces a classy wine with Morello cherry and hints of cinnamon, cedar, and Asian spices. Tangerine notes round out the deep and brooding aromatics. In the mouth, the wine is silky and smooth, with an extract that clings to the palate. The wine finishes with a cherry pit sensation wrapped up with notes of black tea. A sensational offering that is irresistible today but has staying power for a decade or two.
Pinot Noir – Medium-Bodied
2021 Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir $70 13.6% alc. San Benito County AVA
Aromas of plum and berry are interlaced with wood spices, citrus, and hibiscus. An intriguing balsam-like element adds a complex, captivating depth. A juiciness in the mouth keeps everything lively as the wine flows across the palate with flavors of berry and bergamot with strong finish of Assam tea. Hidden in the layers of richness is the signature crushed rock and mineral note that further adds body, texture, and complexity.
2021 Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir $75 13.9% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Beautifully balanced notes of raspberry fruit mix with the earthy quality that always typifies this unique site. A hint of evergreen allows for an airiness that highlights the wine and together helps capture the intrigue of the aromatics. In the mouth, the flavors of summer-ripened raspberries mix with black cherry, along with hints of allspice. The mid-palate is highlighted with an earthy flavor and transitions to a tannin structure that lingers wonderfully on the palate. The round tannin profile will allow for
near-term enjoyment but can develop with additional cellar time as well.
2021 Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir $75 13.9% alc. Yorkville Highlands AVA
Strawberry and red cherry notes permeate the nose in this delightful offering from the Weir Vineyard. Year after year, the vineyard delivers a quality that is both unique and pure. Subtly floral on the nose, the wine gives way to fresh herbs that further add to the complex array of aromatics. Though polished and elegant, there is a sensation of crushed rocks and minerals that coat the palate. Flavors of red fruits are overlayed in the mid-palate and support the structure of this outstanding effort. Patience is a virtue with this wine, as the tannins need a few years to harmonize.
2021 Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir $115 13.7% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Raspberry and dark red fruits always highlight this warm site near Eastside Road. Notes of hibiscus and Rooibos tea further add to the kaleidoscope of aromas. Lively and refreshing on the palate, the black and red fruit flavors combine with notes of citrus peel and cedar. The extract of the wine is perfectly balanced with the acidity and polished tannins, while a mineral-like sensation rounds out the finish. Mostly comprised of the older Pommard and Swan blocks, some of the newer plantings of Mt Eden and Romanee-Conti are showing promise and are now being included in the blend.
2021 Williams Selyem Estate Pinot Noir $125 14.1% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Perfumed and delicate on the nose, the wine showcases raspberry and black cherry notes with hints of cedar and sarsaparilla. Wood spices such as nutmeg and allspice perfectly complement the comforting and rich aromatic profile. The aromas carry over to the palate with firm tannins and balanced acidity. There is a brilliant aromatic lift on the mid-palate with flowers and citrus, giving way to a crushed quartz-like finish. Give this a little time in the cellar to reach its full potential.
Pinot Noir – Full-Bodied
2021 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir $75 14.1% alc. Anderson Valley AVA
Red currant, black cherry, and blueberry notes jump from the glass in this always exciting and energetic wine from the Anderson Valley. Red fruit character permeates the palate with raspberry and cherry, highlighted by zesty citrus peel flavors that carry the wine across the palate. Owing to the diversity of clones and the well-situated site, the Ferrington is complex and has outstanding depth and layers. The extract is compelling, adding weight, while maintaining the hallmark acidity and freshness. An exciting wine that will develop well over the long term.
2021 Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir $100 13.7% alc. Sonoma Coast AVA
Black cherry, blueberry and pomegranate elements combine in this outstanding terroir from the true Sonoma Coast. Spice notes, lilac, dried herbs, and forest floor aromas all combine to offer a unique experience that is unlike any other wine. Challenging conditions on the coast allow for a slow and methodical ripening of these grapes that truly create this personality-driven wine. The palate is dense, but the vibrancy of the acid counterbalances the weight and keeps the wine lithe and fresh.
2021 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir $100 13.7% alc. Sonoma Coast AVA
The return of the Hirsch Vineyard to the Williams Selyem line-up is a spectacular offering. Deep and brooding, scents of plum and savory notes permeate the nose. Black cherry and pomegranate are also apparent upon further study. Hints of five-spice add depth and a sense of mystery to the aromatics. This outstanding site on the top of the coastal hills is a landscape of ruggedness and struggle. This shows up in the wine as mouthcoating and intense tannins that are robust yet refined in quality. The palate is left with an impression of savory flavors and finishes with a strong impression of Moka Java Coffee.
2021 Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir $100 13.9% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
A perennial powerhouse wine, the 2021 Rochioli Riverblock is a showstopper. Layers of dark berry fruit and notes of cedar dominate the nose. Forest-like notes of sous bois and dried herbs add a depth that is compelling and utterly mind-boggling. The Old River Block was planted in 1989 with cuttings from the oldest vines on the property dating back to the 1960s. Often the berries are tiny and that translates into a wine with tremendous extract. Vibrant and fresh in the mouth, the extract is so perfectly balanced that the palate remains light on its feel while completely saturating the palate. Wow!
2021 Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir $100 14.2% alc. Anderson Valley AVA
Black cherry and blueberry notes combine with hints of dried herbs in this wonderfully complex and aromatic wine. Situated in a part of the Anderson Valley where the vineyard is often wind swept and very cool, the gentle slope allows excellent drainage and modest vigor, yielding a wine with terrific concentration and verve. Hints of allspice and Christmas spices add further depth to this dramatic wine. Dark cherry and tangerine flavors are apparent with hints of wood spices. The wine builds on the palate with the culmination of savory herbs, black tea and a cherry pit sensation on the finish. Voluminous and structured, this site exhibits a terrific balance of power and grace.
2021 Precious Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir $125 14.2% alc. Sonoma Coast AVA
Red and black fruit aromas jump from the glass and are leavened with a dried herb character. Typical of this mountain top vineyard, the aromatics have a wild element to them and showcase the savory side of pinot noir. Hidden beneath the extract and mountain top tannin structure, the dark cherry notes and citrus flavors meld with savory herbs and minerals. A truly unique wine from a magical site on the Sonoma Coast.
2021 Allen Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.6% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Classic chardonnay from the Middle Reach, the Allen Vineyard delivers spiced pear and apple notes. Intertwined with the fruit notes are hints of allspice and nutmeg. A subtle aromatic of green tea and matcha adds a delightful freshness and compelling tannin structure and unexpected verve in the mouth. The wine finishes with excellent weight and a saline-like, crushed mineral sensation that leaves your palate wanting more.
2021 Drake Estate Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.3% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Beautiful yellow and green in color, the nose is accented by Meyer lemon, yellow apple, and pear notes. Undertones of mint and greengage offer a layer of complexity while a hint of Meyer lemon pith contributes spiciness. The palate is round and unctuous owing to the well-developed tannin structure and moderate acid profile. Flavors of Meyer lemon and lemon curd envelope the palate. The older vines are blended with newer plantings of Calera and Wente clones, which brings terrific balance and is wonderfully nuanced and elegant.
2021 Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Chardonnay $65 13.9% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Spiced pear and yellow apple highlight this amazingly aromatic wine. Hints of butterscotch add a richness along with notes of tropical and star fruits. Mouth filling, yet light on its feet, the wine exhibits a weighty quality but is well-balanced with refreshing acidity. Flavors of pear and granny smith apple mix with hints of jasmine green tea. The elegant finish is rounded out with a sensation of crushed rocks and minerals.
2021 Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.2% alc. Sonoma Coast AVA
Subdued and nuanced, the Three Sisters Vineyard on the true coast, is typified with meadowy notes with woodsy undertones. Aromatics of yellow apple and pear belie the savory elements. Owing to the elevation and the struggle on the coast, the wine showcases outstanding structure with saline-like elements along with crushed rocks and minerals. This unique terroir delivers something completely different and special.
2021 Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard Chardonnay $65 14.8% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Bursting with notes of lemon blossom, white flowers and jasmine, the Williams Selyem Estate Chardonnay is extraordinary. Planted to a multitude of chardonnay clones, the aromatics are layered and complex. Hints of Meyer lemon and melon mix with tangerine to round out the nose. Oily and rich on the palate, the flavors range from yellow fruits to melon. A solid tannic structure offers excellent length and mid-palate breadth while finishing soft and subtle with notes of crushed minerals.
2021 Bacigalupi Zinfandel $70 14.9% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Perfumed with red, blue, and black fruits, this site showcases the best of zinfandel from Westside Road and the Russian River Valley. While these old vines date back 100 years, they are still in their prime. Hints of five-spice add an intriguing, complementary aroma to the wine. Boysenberry flavors predominate, but red fruits are discernible along with blueberry and citrus. Lively and vibrant, the freshness is compelling. Coupled with the gentle techniques we employ at Williams Selyem, the balance is impeccable.
2021 Saitone Estate Zinfandel $70 15.2% alc. Russian River Valley AVA
Boysenberry and brambles best describe this 1895 planting of Zinfandel. Layered into the dark fruit character are hints of red raspberry, pomegranate, citrus, and fennel pollen. In the mouth, crunchy red fruit character creates an edginess to the wine owing to the robust tannin and vibrant acidity. A surprising lift of lavender in the mid-palate peeks out and then the wine finishes with elegance and poise.
October 23 | Shipping begins – Main ship date
November 6 | Shipping begins – Hot States (AL, AZ, FL, GA, LA, NC, SC, TN, & TX)
November 3-5 | 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, before the close of the release (September 3). 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 23 and on November 6 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 our website for more details.
– We require a shipping address where someone 21+ years of age will be available to sign for the package during regular business hours (sorry, we cannot ship to PO Box addresses).
Third Party Storage
WS does not apply a shipping/handling charge for orders going to these third-party vendors: All Ways Cool, 55 Degrees, Oeno Vaults, Vinfolio or VinDelivery – local deliveries only. Handling fees may be added by the vendor; see your contract or contact them directly for more info.
•You must establish an account with the third-party vendor of your choice prior to collection.
•Please also note that these vendors do not allow pickups from their location.
– The dates for the Pickup Event in Millbrook, NY are Friday, November 3 – Sunday, November 5. If you select this option, we will communicate event details with you via email as we get closer to the event.
Address: 26 Wing Road, Millbrook, NY 12545 | Phone: (845) 677.8383 ext. 21
Email address: email@example.com | Website: www.millbrookwine.com