2002 Williams Selyem "Feeney" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1033209 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep ruby. Extravagant aromas of framboise, smoke, truffle, tobacco and chocolate, with strong forest floor notes. Highly concentrated but less expansive than the Bacigalupi; flavor of dark berry liqueur. Less juicy and jammy than the Bacigalupi, and less sweet on the back end, but the tannins are well buffered and there's excellent persistence of flavor. 91+ (ST)  (6/2004)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 The downside of this wine is its enormous alcohol, nearly 16 percent. That’s the price you pay for a dry wine with gargantuan flavors. Black currants, cherry pie, tobacco, pepper, bitter chocolate and dill only begin to describe the palate. Yet the wine is balanced and even elegant. Truly an only-in-California experience.  (10/2004)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2002 Zinfandel Feeney Vineyard (which includes 3% Alicante in the blend) exhibits animal/garrigue-like characteristics along with notions of new saddle leather, roasted meats, herbs, and wild mountain fruits and flowers. This is a rustic, full-throttle, hulking Zin... (RP)  (2/2005)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* If perhaps better known as a first-rate producer of fine Pinot Noir, Williams Selyem scores well with a brace of outgoing Zins. The first, from Feeney Vineyard, is a big, well-fruited wine with very sweet themes of cherries and berries enriched with touches of coffee and smoke...  (9/2004)

Wine Spectator

 Along with ripe plum and raspberry flavors there's a twinge of dill that gives it a sour cherry edge. (Web-2004)

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Price: $39.99
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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 Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.