Moving south toward the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2016 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard offers a more elegant, medium-bodied, supple style as well as perfumed red fruit, dried flowers, and spice, with just a hint of minerality. This site has slightly more clay in the soils and the wine is always one of the more rounded and charming in the lineup. Nevertheless, I’ve no doubt it’s going to drink nicely for a decade.
The 2016 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is beautifully lifted and precise. Bright red berry fruit and floral notes are nicely layered in a Pinot that speaks to understatement and class. In this range, the Family Farm stands out for its crystalline precision and nuance. All the elements are simply in the right place. The 2016 was done with 15% stems, the least Rhys has used for the Family Farm. (AG)
Whenever I taste the single vineyard pinots from Rhys Vineyards, I always do them together, so that I can go back and forth between the various expressions of terroir in each wine. While this is a fascinating exercise for me, it is probably not all that fair to the two beautiful bottlings from San Mateo County, as they hail from terroir that is not as comfortably familiar as those from Anderson Valley or the Santa Cruz Mountains. Nevertheless, there is plenty of terroir in both the Family Farm and Home Vineyards bottlings, albeit, expressed quite differently than in the pinots from the other two regions. The 2016 Family Farm is a really lovely bottle of pinot noir, offering up a wide open and very classy nose of sweet dark berries, bitter chocolate, a touch of pigeon, woodsmoke and a lovely base of dark soil tones. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and generous on the attack, with a fine signature of soil, a good core, moderate tannins and lovely length and grip on they bouncy and complex finish. This svelte bottling comes in at 12.6 percent octane this year and is just lovely. (Drink between 2018-2045) 92+
Like the Bearwallow bottling, the 2016 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is quite approachable this year, revealing youthfully reserved but already complex aromas of cherries, sweet soil, raw cocoa, forest floor and subtle peony. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, layered and sappy, with velvety tannins and a juicy, mouthwatering finish. It was vinified with only 15% whole cluster this year. (WK)
An elegant, reserved and ultra-pure and fresh nose reluctantly offers up wisps of various red berries, anise, rose petal, lilac and a hint of smoke. The round, delicious and attractively textured medium weight flavors possess a seductive energy while exhibiting very good depth and length on the balanced and dusty finish. While it's clear that there is a firm core of supporting tannins this is a bit more forward and one of the few wines in the range that could actually be enjoyed on the younger side.
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