A deft, indeed almost invisible, touch of wood sets off even more complex aromas of spicy red Pinot fruit and warm earth nuances that also suffuse the concentrated, intense and powerful big-bodied flavors that are supported by distinctly firm tannins and a much more overt sense of austerity on the strikingly long finish. This is built to age and will probably outlive the Home...The estate wines of Rhys Vineyards are made from biodynamically farmed fruit and owner Kevin Harvey and winemaker Jeff Brinkman continue to drive the wines to new heights. There are usually varying percentages of destemming but in 2008 there was none (as was also the case in 2007). That the wines are of very high quality is evident but what is wonderfully refreshing is that the wines are also unique and original. Simply put, they are unlike any other pinots being crafted in California today. I hasten to point out that this is not because their methods are radically different (there are others who use very high percentages of whole cluster ferments along with natural yeasts). No, the difference is straightforward: it is because Harvey has chosen his vineyard sites with a keen eye and then obsessively developed them with the one goal of obtaining fruit that expresses unerringly the uniqueness of site. Simply put, these are terroir-driven wines par excellence. *Outstanding*
Deep, bright red. Deep aromas of black raspberry, candied licorice and flowers, with a mineral topnote. Suave on entry, then firm and bright in the middle, with a restrained sweetness to the flavors of red and dark berries and floral pastilles. Finishes with good breadth and length and fine-grained tannins. A late note of smoky minerality adds verve. (ST)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)