Burt Williams Appreciation Dinner Chicago-TN's and pics

A group of us here in Chicago were fortunate enough last week to get together to celebrate the work of Burt Williams of Williams Selyem after his passing. I did not know his wines well as his last vintage was 1997 I believe, but I was certainly very impressed. Word is Burt enjoyed champagne whenever he tasted so we brought a few bottles along. ALL of the vintage WS bottles were generously provided by our friend Clayton. Even after insisting he would not accept anything in return for all the great wine he provided. The generosity of the wine community continues to surprise and impress me. Thanks again to Clayton.


Egly-Ouriet Brut Rose Grand Cru (51 mos on lees, 1-18 Dis)

Pierre Paillard Les Maillerettes Bouzy Grand Cru 2014 (100% pinot, Dis 2-19)

Paul Goerg 2004

Dom Perignon 2008

1992 RRV Zinfandel (this was all Leno Martinelli Jackass Hill)

1993 Ferrington

1993 Cohn

1993 Rochioli

1996 Olivet Lane

1997 Rochioli Riverblock

1997 Allen

1997 Coastlands

2014 Morning Dew Ranch



Paillard-Green apple and citrus on the nose, Medium plus acidity and length on the palate. Light apple tones and breezy. Lean and a bit austere. Better with a few bites of food. Nice.

Goerg-Nose of lemon grass and lemon curd. Light acidity and a medium length finish. Green vegetal quality on the palate with lemon grass into a relaxed finish.

Egly-Ouriet Brut Rose-wow on the nose-balanced fruit -red berries, limestone and a touch of light bread crust. Balanced and elegant. I need more of this. My fav of the bubbles but I may be biased I brought it.

Dom Perignon 2008-Hard to argue with this. Second bottle in as many weeks for me. A little funk and aggressiveness on the nose due to it youth but nothing bad. Charming intensity, citrus, white flowers. A lot going on. Second pass an hour later was even better. Would have benefited from more attention and time. Really a nice bottle now and of course with a bit more time.
WS flights-

1993 Cohn-Cherry and red fruit on the nose. Light color slightly faded, Chalk and oak and charcoal all in a good way. Someone said Russian River nose on this one but I am not sure what that is.

1993 Rochioli- Color in all 3 93’s of this flight were different. This was middle color. Smokey sweet plum and red fruit, a stunning finish and depth that is unexpected. Fav of first Flight and my WOTN

1993 Ferrington-Great traditional pinot nose. Pepper and red fruit, cherry. Darkest color of flight and most fruit forward. Really good
different colors of the flight -
flight 2-

1997 Coastlands-Ethereal red fruit on the nose, explosive. Balanced tannins and still present. Salinity spice and pomegranate.

1997 Rochioli Riverblock-Hot on the nose, aged palate. Strong showing, I like this vineyard.

1997 Allen-Stunner on the nose, makes you want to jump in the glass. Cloudy color hides the banging wine here. Balanced and elegant but not wimpy. Fav of this flight.
3rd flight-

1996 Olivet Lane-Flawed, debate here between corked or cooked it was very subtle. I came down on ever so slightly corked

1992 RRV Zinfandel (this was all Leno Martinelli Jackass Hill)-Still hot and high alcohol, a surprise. Cherry and vanilla and tannin structure. Opened nicely

2014 Morning Dew Ranch (outlier but why not)-outclassed in this group sure but still a nice wine. Plum and cherry and hints of Eucalyptus. Id be excited to have a couple in the cellar for a few more years.
What a fun night of celebration and generosity. Cheers to Burt Williams and his family, he is remembered fondly.

Nice notes, especially “jump in the glass.” Wish I could have made it up there; those wines are now a piece of history. So generous of Clayton to share.

Thanks Josh, it was a good night. More to come and I am sure I will see you at one soon.

Very nice. You all did it up righteously with lots of kudos to Clayton for his generosity. What goes around, comes around.

I love that you started with champagne and it included an 08` Dom as did our dinner. And you are correct Adam, Burt did enjoy champagne first before diving in to anything else. I would always take one and on most occasions, he would then open up a Chardonnay before the Pinots and Zins.

Well done Chicago group.

These notes are very late, and may be a touch out of order (sorry) but wanted to make sure i added them. Awesome dinner, much respect and RIP Burt.

list][*]1993 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Rochioli Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/5/2020)
Bright garnet color, slightly browning at the edge.

Complex nose of reminiscent of a really finely crafted potpourri.

Mineral driven palate, very long with lush sweet (but never cloying) red and black cherries.

Savory morel finish.

Quite a complete California Pinot. (96 pts.)
[*]1993 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Cohn Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/5/2020)
Bright rub color. Consistent to the edge.

Powerful nose, lead by floral notes, and supported by cola, cherries, and baking spice.

Lovely palate presence. Sweet red fruit but quite weightless. Finishes with a touch of red spice. (94 pts.)
[*]1997 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Allen Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/5/2020)
Translucent red brick color

On the nose… mint, sous bois, spice and cherries.

Great entry. Red and a touch of blue fruits.

Savory, soil driven quality to this wine. Salinity.

Mineral and ferrous finish. Slightly claret-like. (94 pts.)
[*]2014 Pierre Paillard Champagne Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillerettes - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (3/5/2020)
Disgorgement 02/19

Lovely nose of white roses, creamy autolysis and white peach.

Fresh tart palate. Granny smith apple. Chalky finish. Quite austere but with lovely length and style. (94 pts.)
[*]NV Egly-Ouriet Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (3/5/2020)
Lovely bright salmon color. Aggressive bead.

Floral nose of roses and honeysuckle.

Great palate presence. Strawberries, raspberries, lemon zest and fine tannin.

Lovely balance. So long and full.

Disgorged Oct 2018 after 51 months on lees.

Very nice. (94 pts.)
[*]2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne - France, Champagne (3/5/2020)
Pale gold color. Fine bead.

Very balanced on the nose with white flowers, wet rocks and well developed autolysis.

Very young on the palate at this stage. White stone fruit, creamy with quite a firm attack.

Ripe and rounded. (93 pts.)
[*]1992 Williams Selyem Zinfandel Russian River Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/5/2020)
Bright mahogany color.

Very claret style nose. Cedar and some fallen leaves with a black fruit undertone.

Earth, briary wild blackberries. Sweet entry, spice, great acid. Long. (92 pts.)
[*]1997 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/5/2020)
Bright mahogany color.

Savory nose. Sous bois, autumn, cherries. Heady, but just a touch muddled.

On the palate, fresh mint, spice, bing cherries, cola, earth. Nice vinous quality. (92 pts.)
[*]2014 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Burt Williams’ Morning Dew Ranch - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (3/5/2020)
Beautiful brilliant garnet color.

Lovely lifted nose. Touch of spice, cinnamon, violets, eucalyptus. Great palate balance of black cherries, minerals and a hint of earth. Saline finish. (92 pts.)
[*]1993 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (3/5/2020)
Mid to dark sangria color.

Speaks of place and winemaking with a whole cluster nose. Savory, damp earth, baking spice and a mint/menthol character.

Black fruits on the palate. Sweet and quite ripe. Shows plush and young but a touch on the ripe style for a Williams era wine. (91 pts.)
[*]1997 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (3/5/2020)
Dark bright jewel-like polished garnet color.

Huge nose of cinnamon, violets and vanilla.

Lovely weight on the palate. Silky with seamless red fruits and spice.

Finishes with a touch of heat, that has always kept this wine from the being great for me.

Bottle sourced from the W-S library. (90 pts.)
[*]2004 Paul Georg Champagne Premier Cru Brut - France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru (3/5/2020)
Bright gold color.

On the nose, lemongrass, lemon curd, fresh baked bread.

On the palate, sweet ripe lemons. A little short and one note for me, but quite pleasant. (89 pts.)
[*]1996 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/5/2020)
Faulty. Cooked, corked? Not sure. NR (flawed)[/list]
Posted from CellarTracker

Nice notes Clayton. Good stuff.