Bright ruby. Pure, highly expressive aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, minerals, rose petal and spicecake. Wonderfully suave on entry, then vibrant and sappy in the middle palate, offering pungent raspberry, cherry and candied floral flavors of outstanding density and freshness. Gains power on the back half, finishing with outstanding lift, perfume and a gripping note of bitter cherry skin. Really intriguing wine and one of the highlights of my recent trip to California Winemaker Jeff Brinkman told me that these grapes were incredibly tiny. (ST)
The deep ruby-colored 2008 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard (a 10-acre parcel planted at 1,400 feet) possesses a big, sweet, powerful nose of raspberries, spring flowers, damp earth, and mossy, foresty vegetation. Sweet currants, pomegranates, and black raspberries also emerge on the palate of this full-bodied effort. With excellent acidity and delineation as well as a weighty, long, rich mouthfeel with lots of structure and tannin, this enormously promising wine suggests a long life if stored in a cold cellar. (RP)
As much as I loved the 2008 Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay (and I know one needs to have some white wine to drink as well), I would be tempted to only plant Pinot Noir in this vineyard if it were mine, as this grape does beautifully in this site. The 2008 Alpine Pinot is 13.3 percent in alcohol and a beautiful bottle right from the start, as it jumps from the glass in a superb bouquet of black cherries, woodsmoke, gentle balsamic tones, cola, a really stony expression of minerality and a very classy framing of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and sports a very fine core of pure fruit, with ripe, fine-grained tannins, tangy acids and great focus and grip on the poised, youthful and very elegant and transparent finish. A superb bottle of Pinot Noir.
Like all of the Rhys '08s, the aromatic complexity of the Alpine is more than just admirable, it's distinctive as it offers a lacy and pure mélange of cherry and blue berry fruit aromas cut with floral and mild wood notes that precede the backward and moderately austere flavors that are underpinned by firm but not aggressive tannins and excellent length on the balanced finish. While the Alpine is also built to age, it appears that it may come around a bit sooner.
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