WesMar: 2008 Garagiste Pinot Noir
WesMar was launched as a bonded winery over ten years ago in the mold of the original Williams Selyem
winery. Consistency and quality are the hallmarks at this small garagiste winery, with matrimonial partners Kirk
WESley Hubbard and Denise MARy Selyem self-admitted control freaks who manage every detail of the
winemaking process from sorting to bottling. The preferred style is a more feminine Pinot Noir, created by
picking grapes with a good amount of natural acidity. No additives are employed, and the wines are neither
fined or filtered. Kirk and Denise are compulsive about cellar sanitation. If a wine does not meet their
expectations, it is declassified and sold as bulk, such as the entire smoke tainted 2008 Sonoma Coast Pinot
Noir and the 2008 Hellenthal Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
With WesMar’s latest fall 2010 release of 2008 Pinot Noirs, a 10th Anniversary Special Offer is available.
When you order a case of the 2008 vintage, you receive a baker’s dozen which includes a bottle of the
outstanding 2007 Hellenthal Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
Denise said that her vineyard sources were not hit hard by the extended frost in April of 2008 in Sonoma
County. The growing season was cool and the resulting wines “are full flavored with a jam-like concentration,
providing moderate tannins and acidity with supple textures.” Phone the winery to arrange a tasting or to order
wines (707-829-8824). The website is www.wesmarwinery.com. All the wines are also available in magnum
format at twice the cost of a single bottle.
2008 WesMar Oehlman Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., $37.
More darkly colored
than usual from this vineyard. Great purity of cherry fruit in the nose and on the palate with a typical addition
(for this vineyard) of baking spices. A tasty middleweight with dusty tannins and a fruity finish that is not
showing everything now. I would suggest cellaring for another year or two. Very good.
2008 WesMar Balleto Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $40. Pommard clone. Previously this wine carried a Sonoma
Coast AVA designation but the boundaries have changed and this
vineyard is now in the Russian Rive Valley.
Demure and delicate aromas
of gently spiced black cherries. Discreetly concentrated black stone and
berry fruits that are full of vim and vigor, wrapped in soft tannins and
framed by bright acidity. This wine is offering the most upfront action now in the
2008 WesMar Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., $40. The
appellation wines from WesMar are not condescending wines inferior to the
single vineyard bottlings, but rather are a virtuous blend of the vineyard
designate wines of the vintage.
Striking aromatics showing off spicy Bing
Cherries. Soft and gentle in the mouth, with understated but pleasing flavors of
red cherries, strawberries, and cola. An easy drinker that will be a promising
workhorse at the dinner table. Like cherry pie day at cooking school: cherries,
baking spices and very interesting results. Very good.
2008 WesMar Salzgeber Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $40.
A chameleon of a wine, constantly changing in the glass
over time revealing a panoply of aromas and flavors. The core of red and
black cherries and berries make a delicious medley that hits a high note
on the divine finish. There are some savory and herbal notes which in
some vintages are overwhelming in this wine, but nicely integrated in this
vintage. Beautifully balanced with a pleasing silkiness and supple tannins that
make for easy drinking. A special date night Pinot.