Saturated red. Strawberry and raspberry aromas are complicated by exotic Asian spices and gain sweetness with air. Sexy stuff, with deep, pure red and dark berry flavors, seamless texture and excellent finishing clarity. Leaves a lingering cherry skin note behind. You could drink this now for its suave fruit, but there's ample depth to reward another five-plus years of patience. (JR)
An herb-infused blue and red berry fruit nose that is less obviously ripe than that of the Hillside Cuvée leads to delicious and seriously complex medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a firmly structured finish of impressive length. This is delicious yet reserved and clearly built to age over the medium term....I toured the vineyards located in the Santa Cruz Mountains and they are indeed spectacular and if you have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it. There are varying percentages of destemming but most wines are made from a high percentage of whole cluster fermentations and as a consequence, the style is a full 180 degrees away from the fruit bomb style that some wineries fashion. These wines are already special but as the vines mature and the Rhys team understands better how to maximize the full potential of their fruit, I predict they will become among the reference standards for Pinot Noir in California.
The Rhys 2006 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard is a structured, now somewhat backward style of Pinot Noir with deep ruby color, notes of spring flowers, black cherries, dusty, loamy soil nuances, and some underbrush. The wine is deep, layered, but also formidably structured for Pinot, with good acidity and high tannins. Give this wine another 2 years of bottle age and watch it evolve over the following decade or more. Rhys Vineyards produces very ambitious wines from vines planted in specific sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains...This is an impressive, well thought out operation, believing, certainly with Pinot Noir, in whole clusters, no racking, and a minimal, artisinal approach to winemaking. The yields are naturally very small because of the terroirs, rootstocks, and clones, and the wines are made to age. (RP)
Dark cherry red. Very opulent, heady perfume that strongly recalls a particularly appealing, fruitier-than-average red burgundy. Finishes dry. Lovely round fruit. Excellent nerve and potential. 17.5/20 points (JR)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)