2009 Williams-Selyem "Forchini Vineyard South Knoll" Russian River Zinfandel

SKU #1157711 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Zinfandel South Knoll Forchini Vineyard is higher toned and more aromatic then the North Flats bottling from Forchini. Crushed flowers, rose petals, spices, sweet herbs and red berries round out the finish, but it is the energy and cut that elevate the South Knoll. The truth, though, is that a hypothetical 50/50 blend of both Forchini Zinfandels is better than the two wines when tasted apart. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021. (AG)  (2/2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Glass-staining purple. Wild, gamey and exotic on the nose, offering ripe boysenberry, cassis and fruitcake scents along with an exotic jolt of cocoa powder and anise. Round, expansive black and blue fruit flavors gain sweetness with air, slowly revealing a sweet black raspberry preserve quality. Very persistent, deeply flavored zinfandel with impressive volume and finishing intensity. (ST)  (6/2011)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is a terrific Zinfandel, offering berry, cherry, mocha, spice and cedar flavors that come wrapped in briary tannins. It's technically dry, but with a satisfying honeyed note.  (9/2012)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Rich, ripe and jammy, with spicy cherry pie aromas and layered flavors of boysenberry, underbrush and cracked pepper. The tannins are ripe but a bit rustic. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2019. 224 cases made. (TF)  (2/2013)

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Price: $59.99

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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 15