The 2012 Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay from Kevin Harvey and his very talented team at Rhys Vineyards is another absolutely brilliant bottle of Chardonnay. The wine is a touch riper than the Horseshoe bottling, coming in at 13.3 percent alcohol and offering a stellar bouquet of pear, white peach, iodine, a touch of acacia blossom, a bit of crème patissière, complex soil tones and a nice base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and snappy, with a superb core of fruit, laser-like focus, great mineral drive and a very long, very young and very classy finish. This is simply a stunning bottle in the making, with grand cru authority, but it is still a puppy and needs plenty of bottle age to unwind from behind its racy and soil-driven structure. It is the best Chardonnay I have tasted to date from Rhys, and their legacy with this grape has already been very impressive indeed, but I have the sense that the 2012 Alpine Chardonnay has taken this varietal to a new level at Rhys Vineyards! (Drink between 2020-2040) 96+ points
The 2012 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard is absolutely stunning! Giving up incredible notes of flinty minerality, green citrus, lemon curd and exotic flowers, this beautiful Chardonnay builds on the palate, with medium to full-bodied richness, vibrant acidity and a clean, laser-focused finish that just keeps going. It continues to gain in richness with time in the glass, yet never loses its classy, pure and elegant demeanor. It should benefit from a year or more in the cellar and have a decade or more of prime drinking after that. (JD)
Green-tinged yellow. An intense, mineral-dominated bouquet evokes fresh orchard and citrus fruits, iodine, anise and white flowers. Stains the palate with densely packed pear and Meyer lemon flavors; picks up a smokiness with air. Chalky, penetrating and pure on the finish, which refuses to let up. (ST)
The 2012 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard opens with attractive scents of lemon peel, apricot, slate and chamomile. Slightly reductive in its aromatics and persistent on the finish, the 2012 offers exceptional finesse in a brilliant style long on focus and tension. This is pure class. (AG)
Aromas of cream, spice, citrus and apple give this a complex scent. Creamy and zesty on the palate, with lively pineapple, tropical fruit and lemon-lime notes, ending long and clean. Drink now through 2020. (JL)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)