Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

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Blake Brown
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#1 Post by Blake Brown » June 21st, 2018, 4:03 pm

A great write up on these classic wines especially from 87`-97` IMHO:

http://vinous.com/articles/williams-sel ... 6-jun-2018
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#2 Post by Mel Knox » June 21st, 2018, 7:05 pm

It is always pleasureable to read that the wines made in the barrels you sold are sexy.
But I knew that all along. The barrels take after me.

I am not sure his barrel history of WS is correct. As I recall, Burt used two year air dry because that is all we had. When they started to use three year, I am not sure, but Bob was mostly all three year and now Jeff even plays with four year air dry. But all the barrels were sexy.
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#3 Post by Mel Knox » June 21st, 2018, 10:33 pm

I was hoping to at least pull in an insult from somebody
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#4 Post by Anton D » June 22nd, 2018, 1:11 am

Mel Knox wrote:I was hoping to at least pull in an insult from somebody
Going for a Right Said Mel song vibe?!
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#5 Post by Mel Knox » June 22nd, 2018, 7:42 am

Anton, that would be good too.
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#6 Post by Blake Brown » June 22nd, 2018, 9:44 am

Mel Knox wrote:I was hoping to at least pull in an insult from somebody
I would have responded sooner Mel, but just now saw the post. Love the "sexy" self stated handle. I would not have thought that, but if you say so.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#7 Post by Blake Brown » June 22nd, 2018, 9:48 am

Mel Knox wrote: I am not sure his barrel history of WS is correct. As I recall, Burt used two year air dry because that is all we had. When they started to use three year, I am not sure, but Bob was mostly all three year and now Jeff even plays with four year air dry. But all the barrels were sexy.
Good point and one that I will take up with Burt on the 4th when we do our long time standing annual 4th of July shindig at his home here in SB. I`ll let him know of your barrel description.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#8 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 22nd, 2018, 9:50 am

Mel Knox wrote:I was hoping to at least pull in an insult from somebody
Too sexy for your staves?
th1UGL6CCI.jpg
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#9 Post by Mel Knox » June 22nd, 2018, 9:53 am

I guess the bunghole is in the rear in this picture. More family friendly that way.
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#10 Post by Adam Lee » June 22nd, 2018, 10:50 am

Mel Knox wrote:It is always pleasureable to read that the wines made in the barrels you sold are sexy.
But I knew that all along. The barrels take after me.

I am not sure his barrel history of WS is correct. As I recall, Burt used two year air dry because that is all we had. When they started to use three year, I am not sure, but Bob was mostly all three year and now Jeff even plays with four year air dry. But all the barrels were sexy.
The barrels were also well-toasted.

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#11 Post by Blake Brown » June 22nd, 2018, 10:59 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
Mel Knox wrote:I was hoping to at least pull in an insult from somebody
Too sexy for your staves?
th1UGL6CCI.jpg
Good one David. So apropos.
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#12 Post by Blake Brown » June 22nd, 2018, 11:03 am

Mel Knox wrote:I guess the bunghole is in the rear in this picture. More family friendly that way.
You would pick that up Mel. There are other possibilities for that being the case.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#13 Post by Mel Knox » June 22nd, 2018, 2:35 pm

Adam,
Are you saying the barrels were well toasted, just like me??
Or, are you pointing out that people shouldn' t be so afraid of heavy toast and/or toasted heads??


There is so much of what people say they like vs what they actually like in our business.
People say they want three year air dry with a hint of toast, but they actually like a lot of toast.
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#14 Post by Tom Gutting » June 25th, 2018, 1:10 pm

Loved this essay. Such special wines.
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#15 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » June 25th, 2018, 2:06 pm

Great article - the sort of thing that keeps my subscription with vinous from lapsing (an especially great week with Valtellina also covered).

From my limited experience i rate the 1987-1997 wines a bit higher than Tanzer did (although he was high on them nonetheless). We agree on the very patchy 1998-2002 period. He seems a touch higher on 2004-2012, and I have not tried any of the Managhas era to weigh in.

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#16 Post by jeffmazen » June 25th, 2018, 4:54 pm

Mel Knox wrote:I guess the bunghole is in the rear in this picture. More family friendly that way.
Anatomically correct as well.
Disloyal and uninformed.

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#17 Post by Blake Brown » June 25th, 2018, 4:56 pm

Clayton Wai-Poi wrote:Great article - the sort of thing that keeps my subscription with vinous from lapsing (an especially great week with Valtellina also covered).

From my limited experience i rate the 1987-1997 wines a bit higher than Tanzer did (although he was high on them nonetheless). We agree on the very patchy 1998-2002 period. He seems a touch higher on 2004-2012, and I have not tried any of the Managhas era to weigh in.
I definitely agree with you on your vintage span evaluations Clayton. I go back to the early 80s with all of the WS wines and they were great then and still showing beautifully now, especially those from 88` on. Allen is just one of many stars from that 87`-97` era. Even the Chardonnays were and still are spectacular.

I'm a fan of Managhas. While staying at Burt`s Morning Dew Ranch home about 7 years ago, I observed him coming out to the vineyards with the vineyard manager and going over various details about crop management. Burt was quite impressed and stated such.

I still buy the WS Pinots. After 02`, the quality has been very good, but not up to Burt`s standards which were superlative IMHO. I have wines from every vintage, but have not opened any past 2010 and a recent 10`Sonoma Coast was really singing.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#18 Post by Blake Brown » July 2nd, 2018, 12:37 pm

Blake Brown wrote:
Mel Knox wrote: I am not sure his barrel history of WS is correct. As I recall, Burt used two year air dry because that is all we had. When they started to use three year, I am not sure, but Bob was mostly all three year and now Jeff even plays with four year air dry. But all the barrels were sexy.
Good point and one that I will take up with Burt on the 4th when we do our long time standing annual 4th of July shindig at his home here in SB. I`ll let him know of your barrel description.
Mel et al, I saw Burt yesterday and asked him about this. He agrees with your recall, he used 2 year air dry and that was all that was available then. Margi was present as well and remembers the same.

As an aside, I'm taking 92` Allen to share with him on the 4th.
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“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#19 Post by Larry Link » July 2nd, 2018, 10:35 pm

Great article, thanks for calling attention to it. I was struck by Tanzer’s statement at the end of the article:

“I have long considered Rochioli Vineyard to be an undisputed grand cru for California Pinot Noir. On that scale, Allen would rate as an exceptionally fine premier cru, on the order of a Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses or Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques. But that’s a debate for another day.”

I wonder if he is referring to the “West Block” vineyard specifically or to all the Rochioli vineyards combined?

What other vineyards would you classify as undisputed Grand Cru? I know they don’t have the track record yet, but I believe Rhys Skyline and Swan Terrace qualify.

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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#20 Post by Mel Knox » July 2nd, 2018, 11:13 pm

Larry,

Other California 'grand cru' vineyards??
It could be a list to debate but I would say that at least a 20 year record, maybe even 30, is in order. That would leave me out of most of the discussion as I am rarely sure what year it is now.

If we are just talking about pinot noir, I would include Sanford and Benedict on the list.

What about the various Calera vineyards and Chalone??

Are we throwing Oregon into the story??
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Tanzer on Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinots from 1987-2016

#21 Post by Blake Brown » July 3rd, 2018, 9:08 am

Mel Knox wrote:Larry,

Other California 'grand cru' vineyards??
It could be a list to debate but I would say that at least a 20 year record, maybe even 30, is in order. That would leave me out of most of the discussion as I am rarely sure what year it is now.

If we are just talking about pinot noir, I would include Sanford and Benedict on the list.

What about the various Calera vineyards and Chalone??

Are we throwing Oregon into the story??

and I`d add Bien Nacido, Talley, Hirsch, Precious Mountain and Summa and there are others for sure.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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