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Community Tasting Notes (30) Avg Score: 91.1 points

  • Boy this wine was a surprise of the year. Had at a pre-2007 Pinot event dinner. I would swear this wine would have been corked; however, it really turned on the charm. On opening the wine was musty and somewhat flat; however, after 1.5 hours the bouquet really opened up. Strong earth/floral tones to the nose.. very romantic sensations of fruit. Even after almost 20 years this wine showed depth to the tongue and had a wonderful finish.

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  • 1997 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir, Olivet Lane

    Decanted for ½ an hour prior to tasting, served from magnum. My score: 91

    This is typically one of the darkest versions of pinot, I didn’t expect any bright flavors of Burgundy, but I did expect this wine to hold up for 16 years and it didn’t disappoint. The color was still a dark plum, as with the Dunn there was no bricking. The tannins are pretty much at the end of days and this wine, although displaying elegance with black plum and ripe strawberry, rose, kirsch and maybe a bit of caramel. Mostly reserved but rich. Definitely a drink now wine; it’s peak was probably 5 years ago when I last had it; it was youthful, bright and delicious – I thought it would last a decade. I’m really glad all of you had a chance to taste this wine now (because it won’t last another 5 years). This win is like meeting an sophisticated older woman who has all the charm and elegance gained by years of refinement, you can only imagine what she was like in her youth!

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  • corked

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  • This wine definitely bucks the norm for Burt Williams wines at 14.9% alc. It is almost Amarone-like in its dark, concentrated fruit characteristics. Started to sing 3 hours after opening, still med plus tannins (esp. for a Pinot). Definitely a fun wine to drink, but not typical of what I was expecting. Olivet Lane does tend to be dark and brooding and this was no different.

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  • Beautiful color with no bricking. Vibrant bouquet dominated by black cherry. Alcohol mostly in check even though it is at 14.9%. Good balance, body and texture. Nice dark cherry flavors but fade very quickly as this wine has practically no finish -- its only shortcoming. Surprisingly good at 13 years, just needed a better finish.

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  • By Stephen Tanzer
    May/June 1999, IWC Issue #84, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Williams-Selyem Winery Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard Russian River Valley) Subscribe to see review text.

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