Williams Selyem Drake Estate Chardonnay

Williams Selyem Drake Estate Vineyard Chardonnay


  • The Drake Estate Vineyard is located right on the Russian River near Guerneville and has the same Yolo Sandy Silt Loam soil as found in many of the very best vineyards along Westside Road.
  • Originally planted to Rome apples, a late-ripening variety, the property has proven itself an exceptional location for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay

Elaboration: Barrel Aged 16 months, 22% new, 22% 1yr., 28% 2yr., 28% 3+yr-old barrels.

Tasting Notes: On the nose, yellow apple and Meyer lemon notes combine with hints of shiso and tarragon. The Drake Estate Vineyard is situated next to a riverbank, and the aromas of the nearby woods influences the aromas and flavors of the wine, creating something with character and intrigue. Layered and fat on the palate, the newer plantings of old-Wente and Calera Chardonnay clones contribute to the excellent structure and minerality in this cool climate beauty.


2019 – 93 Wine Advocate | 93 Wine Enthusiast | 93 Decanter

2021 – 94 James Suckling | 92 Wine Spectator


Willams Selyem Winery was founded almost by accident. In the 1970s, a grower gave a few tons of free grapes to Burt Williams. He and his friend, Ed Selyem, decided to make their own wine – a Pinot Noir.

The partners only wanted to make wine for themselves but, as fate would have it, they were very good at it. Soon, their wine developed a cult-like following among those they shared it with. Ultimately, their experiment elevated Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley to among the best wine-growing regions in the world.

Once Burt and Ed decided to start a serious winery, they vowed to make handcrafted wines that would set the standard for excellence. Burt, a veteran newspaper pressman, made the first labels using an old letterpress and hand-mixed inks. Today, the philosophy at Williams Selyem is to respect the grapes. Their wine has been served at the White House and their 2007 Estate Pinot Noir was the first to score a perfect 100 in a major wine publication.