TN: 2005 Williams-Selyem Allen Vineyard PN

Opened the 2005 WS Allen Pinot Noir. Brickish red color, nose of a fragrant red cherry, taste added some strawberry and gentle cola. Finish was pure. I’m guessing this is past the drink-by date, but it was delightful and unique.

Happy you liked it. Im a big fan of Allen fruit having first enjoyed it when made by Burt Williams back in the 90s. While being home based these last couple of weeks, I've opened and decanted the 01, 02 06 and 08{last night} and all were drinking good with time to spare. I had a 95 a few weeks ago and it was still super viable with more to give later on.

My love for Allen has been centered around its spicy, cinnamon character that embellishes the raspberry/ strawberry fruit and every bottle I had, included these traits along with a trademark grainy, cinnamon color. There’s much more red cherry in the post Burt wines= 98 and on. BTW, there was a flaw in the 98 and 99` releases and I caution anyone in considering buying any even if available.

BTW, the Allen wines Burt made are a bit different from those made by Bob Cabral and later on, Jeff Mangahas. They had a bit more balance and finesse and definitely more cinnamon spiced raspberry/ strawberry rather than red cherry flavor.

Thank you, Blake. I have enjoyed your notes and anecdotes on W-S and especially when you share about your relationship with Burt Williams: a great history.

The 05 Allen was a treat for me. I wish I had more of their wines. I have a '05 Coastlines that I will try soon. Best, John

And thank you John. I’ve long been a fan of WS Coastlands and remember having the 05` not too long ago and it was really nice. I prefer cool climate Pinot Noir and this is a terrific one. Hope you have a good bottle.

On that last note, I’ve found WS wines from the inception have been free of flaws, cork taint and the like. Burt was so insistent and persistent on using quality corks {and barrels and cleanliness and…} and I’ve never had a corked wine of his nor a defective cork that split in half or fell apart when pulling. The current ownership has done a great job in keeping high quality control in these areas and I still find that to be true since 98` on.

Stimulated by this thread, I pulled an 06 Allen a couple of days ago and found it to have nice red cherry flavors with a hint of cinnamon and spice that I might not have discovered if I wasn't looking for it. There was also a touch of raspberry and strawberry, but the red cherry was very prominent. From what Burt shared with me over the years about there being 3 general fruit profiles of Pinot Noir { 1=red raspberry/ strawberry, 2= red cherry and 3= black cherry/berry}, I deduce the tradition from his wines to those of his predecessors, resulted in picking riper fruit and higher alcohols thus lending to the increase in red cherry fruit. This came in at 14.1% abv as is the 08 and 10 as I recall, whereas Burts were typically in the 13.5% range and redolent of raspberry and strawberry.

Thank you, Blake. The '05 Allen was listed at 14.2% and seems to be similar to your '06, with that pleasing red cherry. After your post and then reconsidering, I think my earlier descriptor of gentle cola would have been more accurate if I had said light cinnamon.

I do look forward to trying the '05 Coastlines; I think I 'll have it later this week. Like the Allen, I will pop and pour and drink it throughout the evening. Make sense?

John, I’m enjoying our private responsive thread here.

I decant all of the WS wines from 01` and younger and give them an hour or so to breathe, then swirl a lot during the tasting time. I find this helps in getting a more consistent performance all the way through the bottle or at least for that portion that we consume.

The 05`Coastlands should be showing really well and I’d decant it for at least a few minutes.

BTW, when I decant these wines, they throw very little sediment and I actually will allow for a teeny amount to go into the decanter to keep it in tact. Just sharing a personal preference.

Looking at my cellar inventory, I have

06 Coastlands
04 Hirsch
04 Allen
04 RRV
03 Weir (magnum)
07 Coastlands

Those should probably all be on my list to drink in 2020. I have the 06 Coastlands already set up to drink in the next week or two.

You are sitting pretty good Chris. They are all drinking well now and have enough to go for many more years. Good move to purchase them and to still have them as they are getting closer to an optimal time to visit. No social distancing here.

Went to pull a specific wine from my cellar last night and discovered it was not located where my Cellar Tracker inventory noted, so I just started pulling bottles to read the label and decide which one would be the wine for the night. Lo and behold, I find an 09` Allen that hasn’t ever been included in my inventory. Thinking of this thread and all of the other Allen’s I’ve had in the last couple of weeks, I grabbed it, sprinted upstairs, decanted it and poured 2 glasses for us to enjoy and explore.

Enjoy, we diid. It turns out to be one of the better Allens since Burts last one in 97. More true to form, it had that grainy cinnamon red color and a nose and taste profile of lovely cinnamon, spice and talc laden red raspberry and strawberry that veined through all of those that Burt made. It was in perfect balance and had wondrous mouthfeel. For my palate, this is what righteous new world Pinot Noir is all about.

And John, thank you once again for initiating this thread and for stimulating all of the subsequent openings of many of the wonderful wines from WS Allen Vineyard.

Thank you again, Blake. I think I need to purchase some Allens within the 2004-2010 vintages. It seems like I will like any of them a lot. Separately, I love when I find a wine that I did not know I owned. There is a downside if it is over-the-hill. But it is a pleasure when it shines. Example for me: about six months ago, found that I still had a 2000 Mount Eden Chardonnay. It was terrific.