Selby Winery Russian River Valley
A relatively small operation producing small lots across a fairly extensive range with several wines only available at the tasting room in Healdsburg. However if you are travelling in the area it is well worth a visit. Throughout the range the wines offer generally excellent value for money. The winery was established in the early 1990s by Susie Selby’s late father, David. She has since taken on the winemaking mantle and takes a very hands on approach. There is a good and fresh rosé made from Syrah with limited skin contact. Of the whites, the Sonoma County Sauvignon is light, fresh and grassy while the Russian River Chardonnay offers subtle tropical fruit, spicy oak and a rich texture from ageing on lees.
A Dave Selby Reserve is also made. An extensive range of reds are also produced. Merlot is soft and plummy but more serious is a Malbec, blended with a little Cabernet Sauvignon, which has a ripe tobacco and dark-fruited character. Cherry-scented Pinot Noir from the Russian River is bottled unfined and unfiltered and sees some new French oak. Again a Reserve is also made, Calegari. Cabernet Sauvignon also receives new oak and offers an impressive intensity of fine red berry and plum fruit in a ripe and full style. Decent Syrah from Sonoma County is joined by a very impressive limited bottling from the Vesenaz Vineyard. It is very characterful and loaded with dark blackberry fruit and spicy pepper notes. There is also a very impressive and well-priced old vine Zin from the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys.
A Bobcat version is a limited bottling from 65 to 85 year old vines and is arguably the most exciting wine produced here. It is rich and concentrated with just a slight hint of raisin showing through. The range is completed by a port-style wine, made from Zinfandel and a sweet white called Fancy Nancy, a blend of Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat. Additional reds include a Russian River Valley Sangiovese, a Dry Creek Valley Carignane and an Alexander Valley Petit Verdot. (DM)
To find out more about Selby and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide to California North Coast..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines. (DM)