The 2016 Alesia Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains is superb, unfurling in the glass with notes of fresh pear, preserved citrus, lemon oil and a light framing of smoky reduction. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, concentrated and tensile, built around a racy line of acidity and concluding with a saline finish that's almost searingly stony. This represents a notable change of pace after the more rounded, giving Anderson Valley Alesia bottling and marks this out as one of the keenest values in the Rhys portfolio. Follow it for a decade, perhaps more.(WK)
The Santa Cruz Mountains bottling of 2016 Chardonnay from Alesia is even a touch lower in octane than the stylish Anderson Valley bottling, as this comes in at 12.3 percent alcohol. Despite its lower octane, the wine has plenty of personality on both the nose and palate, with the bouquet delivering a fine mélange of apple, a hint of pear, almond, a really good base of white soil tones, a touch of orange peel and a refined framing of new wood. On the palate the wine is crisp, medium-full, focused and quite solid at the core, with lovely balance and grip, excellent backend mineral drive and a long, zesty and promising finish. This is lovely and even a hair better than the very good Anderson Valley bottling this year. (Drink between 2018-2030) 90+
The 2016 Chardonnay (Santa Cruz Mountains) is a classy, elegant wine. Expressive aromatics add to the wine's finessed personality and overall feel. Citrus peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper add complexity throughout. There is plenty to like in this chiseled, nuanced Chardonnay from Rhys. Alesia is back. After a number of years of thinking about what to do with his popular sister label, Rhys proprietor Kevin Harvey has settled on making Alesia the home for his appellation level wines, while Rhys will focus on vineyard designate bottlings, a distinction that makes a lot of sense. So Alesia, once a negociant label, is now 100% estate, with four wines; two Chardonnays and 2 Pinots from vineyards in Anderson Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains. (AG)
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