The 2014 Alpine Hillside bottling of Pinot Noir from Rhys Vineyards is once again my favorite of this absolutely stellar roster of 2014 Pinots from this great Santa Cruz Mountain property. The wine offers up a marvelous nose of black plums, black cherries, espresso, woodsmoke, black minerality, fresh thyme and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and tightly-knit, with a marvelous core, great mineral drive, bright acids and outstanding length and grip on the ripely tannic and laser-like finish. At this point in its evolution, this does not seem quite as magical as the 2013, but this should not take away from the sheer brilliance this wine will deliver when it is fully mature. 96+
While there won't be a 2015 released due to dismal yields, the 2014 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard Hillside is an utterly profound wine. Tasting just like the straight Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir, only more tannic and structured, this beauty boasts awesome notes of black raspberries, spring flowers, baking spices and crushed rocks, with a tight, backwards, concentrated style on the palate. It desperately needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but is a tour de force in Pinot Noir from California! (JD) 95+
The 2014 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard Hillside is a wine of gravitas and power. There is plenty of fruit intensity as well, but the 2014 is holding so much in reserve today. Black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice, spice and smoke infuse a deep, resonant Pinot Noir built for the cellar. This is a decidedly dark, virile style, but it works beautifully. Readers should plan on being patient. The 50% whole clusters are nicely balanced. (AG) 94+
A discreet hint of menthol sits atop the more elegant cool and airy aromas of various red berries, sandalwood and a hint of tea. There is a beguiling mouth feel to the punchy and serious medium-bodied flavors where the supporting tannins are very much in evidence on the firm but not really austere finish. At least some patience is definitely advised here. *Outstanding*
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