The 2011 Alpine Vineyard pinot noir from Rhys Vineyards is another low alcohol beauty, coming in at 12.3 percent and offering up a stunning bouquet of dark berries, black cherries, dried eucalyptus, tea-smoked duck, gorgeous minerality, vinesmoke, fresh herbs and a dollop of new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and very intensely flavored, with a fine core, stunning transparency, great, nascent complexity, moderate tannins and magical length and grip on the focused and utterly classic young finish. Another absolutely great wine and probably the pick of the litter in this stunning lineup of 2011 Rhys Pinot Noirs. (Drink between 2018-2040)
Dark red. Sweet dark berry and cherry-cola scents are complicated by musky herbs, dried flowers and minerals, with a suave undercurrent of Indian spices. Powerful black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors are firmed by tangy acidity, which adds lift and back-end cut. This wine has the focus, balance and concentration to repay at least five to seven years of cellaring. (ST)
The 2011 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard comes across as a bit heavy, even in this cool vintage. Black cherries, plums, incense, orange peel, smoke and melted road tar explode from the glass in a Pinot that is all about structure. The firm, grippy tannins suggest the 2011 will enjoy a long life by California standards. There is a lot to like here, and there will be even more, if the wine finds a more finessed voice with further time in bottle. The 2011 was with 18% whole clusters. (AG) 93+
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