Coming from Anderson Valley in California's North Coast, the 2012 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is distinctly different than the Santa Cruz Mountain releases. Full, layered and supple, with possibly more mid-palate flesh than the slightly more racy 2012s from further south, this beauty gives up lovely notes of passion fruits, wild herbs (thyme, rosemary, lavender), eucalyptus and spice. Medium to full-bodied, layered and multi-dimensional on the palate, with a brilliant texture, this impeccably balanced beauty will age gracefully for another decade or more. (JD)
The 2012 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is another wine with great fruit intensity, not unlike the Family Farm, but with darker fruit and more exotic, spiced overtones. Black cherry, plum, cloves, lavender and violets meld together in a radiant, beautifully expressive wine loaded with intensity and pure class. Underlying veins of minerality are present, but they are totally covered by the pure intensity of the fruit. The Bearwallow was vinified with 20% whole clusters. (AG)
Here the nose is quite reticent and requires considerable swirling to liberate the wonderfully fresh and cool black cherry, raspberry and floral scents. In much the same fashion as the Alpine the medium weight flavors possess a strikingly refined mouth feel yet there is a bit more heft to the mid-palate, all wrapped in a solidly structured, balanced and beautifully long finish. This is a bigger and more powerful effort that possesses plenty of dry extract to buffer the firm tannic spine. In contrast to the prior two wines I would suggest holding this for at least 4 to 5 years first but it will need 10 or so to reach its full apogee.
The Bearwallow bottling of pinot noir is always a bit of an outlier in the Rhys lineup, as this wine hails from Anderson Valley and I always sandwich in my lineup between the San Mateo County bottlings and those from the Santa Cruz AVA. However, this is an excellent wine year in and year out, with the black fruity personality of Mendocino pinot very much in evidence in the 2012 version. The excellent bouquet jumps from the glass in a mix of dark berries, espresso, dried eucalyptus, chicory, dark soil tones, botanicals and a touch of new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, deep and primary, with a good core, moderate tannins and a very long, classy and soulful finish. This may not be the most complex of the Rhys pinot noir bottlings, but there is great personality here and this is a wine that is going to age beautifully. (Drink between 2018-2035) 92+ points
Lurid ruby-red. Lively cherry and redcurrant on the nose, with suave floral and Asian spice nuances adding complexity. Mineral-accented red and dark berry flavors are concentrated but youthfully taut, with a sneaky herbal note adding complexity. Closes zesty and long, with excellent clarity and length and fine-grained tannins. (ST)
Bright crimson. Very rich and intense on the nose. Forest floor and chock full of flavour. Bracing finish. Good structure. (JR)
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