The 2011 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard shows the broad shoulders typical of so many Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnays. Honey, almonds, crème brulee and apricot jam are all layered into the finish. The Alpine is a little more overt and exotic than the Horseshoe at this stage. It is an exceptionally beautiful, totally dazzling wine. (AG)
he 2011 Alpine Vineyard chardonnay from Rhys Vineyards is another absolutely stellar bottle in the making, offering up a deep, pure and magically complex bouquet of delicious apple, buttered pears, orange peel, a nice touch of leesiness, a very complex base of stony soil tones, a bit of hazelnut, very suave framing of new oak and a touch of smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and tightly-knit, with great nascent complexity, a superb core, bright, zesty acids and outstanding length and grip on the very classy finish. This almost has a bit of Meursault-like personality to it, and like the 2011 Horseshoe Vineyard, this wine will age impeccably well on its seamless balance and will be even better with a few years’ worth of cellaring to unlock its secondary layers of complexity. A great wine. (Drink between 2013-2025)
A small click back from the 2012, the 2011 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard is slightly deeper in color, with more apple, honeyed citrus, brioche, hazelnut and lemon cream giving way to a medium-bodied, layered, nicely concentrated and balanced feel on the palate. Freshening up in the glass, this is a classic, high-quality Chardonnay that will continue to evolve gracefully over the coming 7-8 years (and probably longer). (JD)
Vivid gold. Spice-accented aromas of peach pit, tangerine and white flowers, with a buttery nuance adding depth. Shows very good energy, offering sappy orchard and pit fruit flavors and a touch of bitter citrus pith. Finishes smoky and long, with resonating floral and toasted nut notes and suave minerality. (ST)
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