The 2011 Horseshoe Vineyard Chardonnay from Rhys Vineyards weighs in at a cool and classy thirteen percent alcohol and is a gorgeous example of this fine vintage. The bouquet is deep, complex and nicely reserved, offering up a fine blend of pear, fresh pineapple, a gentle leesiness, orange zest, a beautiful base of soil, a hint of marzipan and a very discreet base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and racy, with a lovely core of fruit, superb focus and nascent complexity, bright acids and excellent length and grip on the very classy finish. If one can imagine a blend of a great example of Chassagne 'la Romanée' and the great chardonnays made at Mount Eden Vineyards in the late 1970s and early 1980s, one can get a feel for the style of this absolutely superb young chardonnay. This wine is eminently drinkable today, but it clearly will gain in complexity with three or four more years of bottle age and should have no troubles cruising at least a dozen years in bottle. Impressive juice!
(aged for 16 months in oak, 25% of it new): Bright yellow-gold. Explosive aromas of mineral-accented orange, nectarine and white flowers, with a smoky overtone. Taut and sharply focused, showing superb concentration and tension to flavors of crystallized lemon, white peach and chalky minerals. The mineral-driven finish clings with striking tenacity. (ST)
Like the 2012 Alpine Vineyard, the 2011 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard is darker in color than its 2011 counterpart, with slightly more honeyed notes of ripe golden apple, caramelized citrus, honeysuckle and crushed rock all emerging from the glass. Fresh and lively on the palate, with bright acidity, it has solid mid-palate concentration, beautiful tension and vibrancy, and a great finish. I suspect this will age like a top-flight Chablis and have 15 years or more of longevity. (JD)
A model of precision, finesse and delineation, the 2011 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard bristles with the essence of honey, white truffle, orange peel and nectarine. The 2011 needs a few years to drop some of its baby fat, but the direction it is likely to take becomes apparent with time in the glass. Watching the wine literally become crystalline and pure with air is quite an amazing experience. (AG) 93+
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