2009 Williams Selyem SVD

Just placed my order during the guaranteed allocation window for the SVDs. A bit lighter than historical orders as it seems to be mailer fallout season. I always pick up some of the WS and was curious if anyone has any experience with the '09 SVD pinots?

Dick - when did you get your mailer/notification?

I have the reverse take, here…I got the reminder card in the mail this week about my lack of ordering. I am dropping. Never really found a connection to Selyem so my spot can go to someone else now.

@Lance - FWIW, I haven’t received my email notification. Not sure about snail mail as I’m out of town.

WS puts out a guaranteed allocation period for those who have been on the list for a longer period of time (not sure the criteria but I have been buying since 1996-yes would have loved earlier!). It ends tomorrow night and then I think the general release starts. I have always very much enjoyed these wines and never found them over the top like some that I tried along he way and dropped pretty quickly. There is no doubt that they are on the pricey side but I am finding more and more CA and OR pinots in these ranges with much less pedigree. I scaled back slightly this year as I have joined other lists that I find intriguing as well RM, Rhys etc but reckon there will always be a spot in my cellar for WS as long as they keep making these great wines.

Is there a need to be on the list ? Are they still difficult to find in the market ?

In Chicagoland you may find a smattering of appellation wines, and I suspect not routinely. Some of the finer restaurants get a small bit of the SVD that I am aware of but not much and not necessarily at release prices. So despite the agony of shipping charges at least to this area the list is the ticket. On a side note there are a few reasons I buy from wineries directly in many cases besides scarcity at retail. !) I know where it came from and how it has been handled 2) the extraordinary customer service that some of these wineries provide even years after release if you find a corked bottle or other problems-

I recall WS had a “wild yeast” issue on a past vintage (I don’t recall) and when I notified them they explained that they were aware it had impacted some bottles and the problem was resolved with no issues at all. Gramercy, when first starting had a mess of an issue getting some wine shipped to me, when I called to cancel my order Greg refunded my money and sent me the entire order anyway with an very gracious note thanking me for taking the time to bring this to his attention. Coming from the restaurant industry he was familiar with silent and dissatisfied customers that never returned and never gave the business a chance to make amends. By being politely vocal this helped him focus on both wine and the customers as a business. Both extremely classy operations and both whom I continue to buy from.

Years after buying at retail I would not expect the same response. Those wineries that do not respond in a like fashion are dropped from my list despite their wine-there are too many great bottles not to turn over from time to time and to accept poor service.

Any thoughts on these?

I got my email today. While I can’t afford to purchase everything in my offer, I will purchase some. I have had very good success with the few I have cracked open.

I’m curious if anyone has had a chance to taste any of these as I’m having a tough time paring down the list:

2009 Eastside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir
2009 Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Vista Verde Vyd Pinot Noir
2009 Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Olivet Lane Vyd Pinot Noir
2009 Rochioli Riverblock Vyd Pinot Noir
2009 Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Precious Mountain Vyd Pinot Noir
2009 Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Hawk Hill Vineyard Chardonnay
2009 Drake Estate Vineyard Chardonnay
2009 Forchini North Flats Zinfandel
2009 Papera Vineyard Zinfandel
2005 Mistral Vineyard Port

Bucher, Peay and Hirsch are likely choices. What about the return of the Olivet Lane? I’ll also take the Papera Zins as that is one of my favorite zin vineyards.


isn’t it westside rd neighbors?

i checked… it is eastside… sorry

Westside Neighbors was in the spring release.


Ferrington, Rochioli Riverblock and Allen for me.

Many dismiss WS as old news but each time I open a bottle I am impressed.

Eastside Neighbors was new in 2008, I can’t remember the vineyards sources off the top of my head, but I am under the impression the wine was generally well received.

I personally gravitate more to the Sonoma Coast bottlings from WS myself. I had a 2003 Peay that was drinking wonderfully about a month ago, and a 1994 Coastlands we had a couple years of ago was the best domestic pinot I have ever had.


W-S are the No. 1 holding in my cellar - it’s very rare i open one i don’t like… actually i can only think of one (i’m looking at you 2002 Ferrington).

For what it’s worth IWC has rated the W-S lineup every vintage since 1996 (and Rochioli back to 1987) and this is the highest scoring vintage they have rated yet. 3 wines tie the highest rating (95) yet handed out to W-S Pinots by IWC.

Hard having to pick and choose through so many great wines this offering, though. Really wish I could I could take the whole allocation, but that’s just not in the cards right now.

Do you have to take all the vineyards?

No Nick. I took 6 bottles and wishlisted 4 more. I was offered way more than that but in this economy I bought what I could.


I had dinner last night with Josh Raynolds and we talked about this latest offering. He was really high on the whole lineup but in particular the Coastlands PN for the money.