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Rare Rhys Allocation - Limited Availability on a Groundbreaking Producer - 02/24/2018 - Pinot Noir (domestic)

We’ve admired Rhys from a distance for years - the wines are magnificent, age-worthy, and have a passionate following that few wineries can lay claim to. Unfortunately, access has been limited as they tend to be highly allocated. What we saw was few and far between. But today is where that changes – we’ve been given a rare opportunity to offer small quantities of a few wines, including today’s feature of the 2014 Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir. Acquired by Rhys in 2008, the Bearwallow Vineyard is an ideal location for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A complex mix of soil types, high elevation, and dramatic temperature shifts all contribute a wine of unparalleled depth and range. The 2014 is a stunning rendition (according to our staff as well as some unanimous mainstream critical acclaim) and we’re more than thrilled to be able to (at last!) open up orders to our clientele. This is one you won’t want to miss.

If you haven’t heard of Rhys Vineyards, you aren’t alone, as this under-the-radar estate was, for a long time, only available via their mailing list. What started as a passion project for software entrepreneur, Kevin Harvey, is now among the most coveted and sought after estates in California. Harvey caught the wine bug and decided, on a whim, to plant Pinot Noir in the backyard of his home and try his hand at winemaking. The results were promising enough that in a few short years he was bottling this wine for commercial sale and expanding to some of the top sites in and around Santa Cruz Mountains. The critics caught on and began awarding big points and lavishing adoring praise which, in turn, drew the attention of collectors. As one might expect, it didn’t take long for demand to outstrip supply. Notable for their distinctly Burgundian character, the wines from Rhys reveal a breathtaking complexity that puts them on par with some of the finest of California Pinot, while having a character that sets them apart at the same time. That we are able to offer these wines is an honor and affords a unique opportunity to acquire some of the best wines California has to offer. Featured below are other Rhys collectibles that would be welcome additions to any cellar.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2014 Rhys "Bearwallow Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 94 0 Price: Hidden View
2014 Rhys "Family Farm Vineyard" San Mateo County Pinot Noir 93 18 Price: Hidden View
2014 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 95 13 $109.99 View
2012 Rhys "Family Farm Vineyard" San Mateo County Pinot Noir 93 32 $79.99 View
2013 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 94 1 $99.99 View
2012 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah 95 0 $99.99 View
2014 Rhys "Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 95 0 $109.99 View
2012 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 95 12 $104.99 View

2014 Rhys "Bearwallow Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir - 0 available Price: Hidden

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is a solid step up over the Anderson Valley release and has more tension, elegance and precision. Offering up classic notes of strawberries, spice, black cherries and a touch of sous bois, it has medium to full-bodied richness, terrific purity of fruit and integrated acidity. Give bottles a year or two and drink through 2026."

93 points John Gilman: "I simply adored the 2013 vintage of Bearwallow pinot noir, and the 2014 version is a fine follow-up to that superb wine. The bouquet is deep, pure and nascently complex, wafting from the glass in a blend of black cherries, cola, black plums, woodsmoke, sweet herbs, a dollop of spicy oak and a topnote of cumin. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with outstanding mid-palate depth, ripe, perfectly integrated tannins, bright acids and outstanding length and grip on the poised and youthful finish. This shows significantly more complexity and precision than the very good Anderson Valley bottling, but it is still a puppy and a bit bound up in its suave structural elements. It is built for the long haul and I would give this at least seven or eight years in the cellar before I even contemplated opening a bottle. Not that it is all that bad of a drink right out of the blocks, but there is so much more to come here with bottle age that it would be infanticide to even think of opening bottles before it really has had a chance to develop! 2023-2060+."

92 points Vinous: "(92+) The 2014 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is a huge wine. Dark, powerful and intense. The low yields of the vintage are felt in the wine's massive fruit and pure heft. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke and licorice abound in a towering, somewhat burly wine that is going to need quite a bit of time to come around."

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2014 Rhys "Family Farm Vineyard" San Mateo County Pinot Noir Price: Hidden

93 points John Gilman: "The 2014 Family Farm Pinot Noir is a bit more typical of the vintages ripeness level, coming in at 13.5 percent. The bouquet seems a tad more marked by its new wood than most of these other single vineyard bottlings, but this is just the stage the wine is in today. The nose is a fine blend of cassis, black cherries, a touch of chicory, dark soil tones, espresso, mustard seed and cedar. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and a bit more vibrant in personality than its San Mateo stable-mate of Home Vineyard. The balance is impeccable, the tannins suave and perfectly integrated and the finish very long, nascently complex and utterly refined. I have a gut feeling that this will age even longer than the Home Vineyard 2014, but it is so beautifully balanced that it will also offer more enjoyment early on in its evolution. 93+ points" (08/2016)

93 points Vinous: "A striking, expressive wine, the 2014 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard wraps around the palate with serious intensity. The effect of the drought comes through in the wine's sheer weight and textural breadth. The 40% whole clusters are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. Black cherry, mocha, plum, graphite, sage and menthol give the 2014 much of its virile, imposing personality. The clay-rich soils here contribute to the wine's ample, creamy feel. Kevin Harvey adds that this site has been dry farmed for nine years. (AG)" (07/2016)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Here too there is a hint of menthol to the copiously spicy red raspberry, cherry and soft plum-suffused nose. There is fine richness and volume to the velvet-textured medium-bodied flavors that possess solid mid-palate concentration, all wrapped in a dusty, delicious and moderately firm finale. This is a bit more approachable than some of the wines in the range yet there is sufficient structure present to suggest that the Family Farm will require the better part of a decade to mature. *Outstanding*" (06/2017)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Described as the most Sonoma-like of their Pinot Noirs, the 2014 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard comes from clay soils and sees roughly 40% whole clusters and one-third new French oak. This rounded, supple and sexy Pinot Noir lacks the tension and structure of the Santa Cruz Mountain releases, yet makes up for it with its sumptuous aromas and flavors of spiced red fruits, smoked herbs, forest floor and spice. (JD)" (10/2016)

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2014 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir ($109.99)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A wine I think is the best vintage to date, the sensational 2014 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard comes from one of the top sites in all of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Incredibly complex, with layers of sweet black cherries, black raspberries, barnyard, wild herbs and spice, it has medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, impeccably balanced texture and a great finish. Drink this gorgeous Pinot Noir anytime over the coming 10-15 years. (JD)" (10/2016)

95 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard is one of the most subtle wines in the lineup. Black cherry, plum, mint, hard candy and sweet spices, along with ripe, silky tannins, give the wine its sense of creaminess and textural finesse. Super-expressive aromatics and layered, plush fruit add to the wine's considerable appeal. (AG)" (07/2016)

94 points John Gilman: "The 2014 Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard pinot noir is one of the lowest octane reds in the lineup this year, coming at 12.9 percent alcohol. As was the case with the 2013 a year ago, this shows a bit of its stems from the inclusion of whole clusters, but this will just deliver more complexity when the wine is really ready to drink. The complex bouquet delivers a very refined constellation of sappy black cherries, plums, a touch of grilled meat, black minerality, raw cocoa, fresh herbs and a discreet base of spicy oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely reserved in personality, with a great core, superb soil signature, fine-grained tannins and a very, very long, transparent and gently meaty finish. This is the first 2014 single vineyard bottling in the lineup that strikes me as surpassing its excellent 2013 counterpart! This will need time in the cellar, but it will be stunning when it is ready to drink. (Drink between 2022-2060)" (08/2016)

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2012 Rhys "Family Farm Vineyard" San Mateo County Pinot Noir ($79.99)

93 points John Gilman: "The 2012 Family Farm Vineyard bottling of pinot from Rhys is another outstanding example of the vintage, delivering an excellent and exotically spiced bouquet of dark berries, black currants, woodsmoke, fresh thyme, mustard seed, dried eucalyptus, beef stock, dark soil tones and a touch of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still very primary, with moderate tannins, lovely focus and grip, tangy acids and a long, classy and light on its feet finish. Beautiful juice. Drink between 2018-2040." (07/2014)

93 points Vinous: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is wonderfully supple and radiant, with the fruit front and center and aromatics more in the background. Silky tannins support a core of dark red stone fruits, spices, new leather and pine. I expect the 2012 will provide a wide and relatively long drinking window of pure pleasure. The 2012 was done with 60% whole clusters, all beautifully integrated, even at this early stage of the game. (AG)" (06/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Coming from a former Christmas tree farm turned vineyard, the 2012 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is one of the more perfumed, forward and textured releases in the lineup. Coming from clay, sandy soils and an east-facing slope that's protected from the warmer afternoon sun, this beauty (which was fermented with 60% whole clusters in 2012) has a lively, intense bouquet of sweet black cherries, spice, potpourri and assorted floral characteristics. This gives way to a seamless, silky and elegant Pinot Noir that, while surprisingly forward, has a solid, full mid-palate, solid depth, moderate acidity and a great finish. Drink this beauty anytime over the coming 7-8 years. (JD)" (04/2015)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby-red. High-pitched red berry and potpourri scents show excellent clarity. Juicy, spicy and vibrant on the palate, offering sweet raspberry and candied rose flavors and a touch of blood orange. Takes a darker turn to blackberry with air and finishes long, spicy and gently tannic. (ST)" (06/2014)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "The floral component that many of the wines in the range display is more evident along with the same lovely freshness to the dark pinot fruit and Asian tea aromas. From a textural standpoint this more resembles the Alpine as there is good verve and detail to the middle weight flavors that culminate in a palate coating, balanced and impressively lingering finish. This is exceptionally pretty but doesn't quite have the depth of the best in the range, at least not yet. Drink: 2019+ *Outstanding*" (01/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "Leased from Stanford, the only vineyard they dont own. Pacific side of the fault, not North American, with deep soils. Luscious fruit. Very sweet and round and charming. Hint of violets. Clear and precise. (JR)" (02/2015)

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2013 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($99.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "My favorite of the latest release Chardonnays, the 2013 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard is a screaming effort that got a few wows in the notes. More ripe and rounded than the Alpine Vineyard (at the moment anyways, as Kevin commented that this cuvee continues to pick up more and more focus with bottle age), its light/medium gold color is followed by tons of ripe white peach and orchard fruits, toasted nuts, crushed rock and white flowers. Rounded, concentrated and rich on the palate, yet with vibrant underlying acidity that cuts through the finish, give it a year or two in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2025+. (JD) 94+" (10/2015)

93 points Vinous: "The 2013 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard is quite opulent and open for this wine. Hints of tropical fruit, butter, white truffle, pastry and apricot jam fill out the wine's ample, broad-shouldered frame with ease. This is an unusually open, young Chardonnay from Rhys, where the Chards often need at least a few years in bottle to truly blossom. (AG)" (07/2015)

93 points John Gilman: "The 2013 Horseshoe Vineyard Chardonnay from Rhys Vineyards is a beautiful young wine, wafting from the glass in a still primary constellation of apple, buttered almonds, lovely soil tones, a touch of leesiness, a touch of spring flowers and a very judicious framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and still fairly tightly-knit, with a fine core, lovely focus and grip and superb backend energy on the long and zesty finish. This is still very early days for this very promising Chardonnay, and I would not be tempted to open a bottle for at least another two or three years, as it is still very primary in profile and needs some time to allow the secondary layers of complexity to begin to emerge. 2017-2030+. 93+"

2012 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah ($99.99)

95 points John Gilman: "The 2012 Rhys Syrah from the Horseshoe Vineyard is a bit less ripe in personality than the 2012 Skyline Vineyard version (please see below), coming in at an even thirteen percent octane and offering up simply stunning aromatic and flavor purity. The very complex bouquet smells like a Gérard Chave wine from the 1980s, soaring from the glass in a precise and classy constellation of cassis, black raspberries, roasted meats, raw cocoa, black olive, stony soil tones, a touch of medicinal young syrah, new leather, cedar and just a whisper of lavender in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and brilliantly soil-driven, with a fine core, flawless focus and balance, ripe, chewy tannins and a very long, very complex and soil-driven finish. This is a puppy and will need at least eight to ten years to really come into its own, but it should prove to be a serious long-distance runner and a reference point example of just what is possible with this grape in a properly stony terroir, coupled with impeccable winemaking. Stunning young Syrah! (Drink between 2023-2060) 95+" (08/2015)

95 points Vinous: "A more savory style of Syrah (relative to the Skyline) emerges from the 2012 Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard. Grilled herbs, rose petals, iron and a host of ferrous notes make a strong first impression. Here the flavors are rich, broad and expansive, mirroring the wine's large-scaled frame. The 2012 is quite impressive today, but it won't be ready to drink for at least a few years. (AG)" (07/2015)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A stunner, the 2012 Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard sports an inky ruby/purple color to go with loads of back raspberry, cassis, licorice, toasted spice and sappy flowers. Deep, rich, full-bodied and textured, with good acidity keeping it honest, this bares more than a passing resemblance to a top-flight Cornas. It needs 2-3 years of cellaring and will keep for over a decade. (JD)" (04/2015)

2014 Rhys "Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir ($109.99)

95 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard bristles with energy. Rose petal, mint, white pepper and blood orange give the Alpine its super-appealing aromatic upper register, but there is plenty of depth lurking beneath. Here the flavors are bright and nicely focused, while the richness of the vintage is mostly felt in the dense, potent finish. (AG)" (07/2016)

94 points John Gilman: "(94+) The 2014 Alpine Vineyard pinot noir from Rhys is another outstanding young bottle of pinot, with its whole clusters showing a bit today, but all of the constituent components in place for greatness down the road. The wine offers up a deep and nascently complex nose of dark berries, espresso, woodsmoke, a superb base of dark soil tones, a touch of stems (which are already starting to show some cinnamon shadings), chicory and a touch of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and strikingly mineral, with a fine core, impeccable focus and balance, suave tannins and a very, very long, tangy and promising finish. This is going to be a great wine (I particularly like how vibrant it is on the backend), but it will demand a bit of patience to allow it to blossom completely with proper bottle age. 2024-2060."

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another complete, broad and layered red that delivers on all accounts, the 2014 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard reveals a healthy ruby color as well as a darker core of red and black raspberry fruits, peppery spice and forest floor in its medium to full-bodied, balanced personality. I love its mid-palate, and while it certainly offers pleasure today, it should be at its best from 2019-2029. (JD)" (10/2016)

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2012 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir - 12 available ($104.99)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Ruby-red. Explosively perfumed cherry-cola, dark berry liqueur, incense and mineral aromas show superb clarity and depth, with a sexy floral quality building with air. Offers palate-staining black raspberry and spicecake flavors that become sweeter and deeper with air. This rich but strikingly lithe and tensile pinot deftly plays power and depth off of vivacity and finishes sweet, youthfully tannic and extremely long. One of the most impressive Pinots I've tasted from the New World, or Burgundy for that matter, in quite a while. (ST)" (05/2014)

94 points Vinous: "Racy and explosive to the core, the 2012 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard hits the palate with a compelling melange of dark red and black stone fruits, cloves, new leather and menthol. Here the style is all about voluptuousness and texture, two qualities the 2012 has in spades. The Horseshoe was fermented with 20% whole clusters, but they are barely evident given the wine's pure intensity and volume. This full-bodied, exceptionally balanced Pinot from Rhys is striking from start to finish. (AG)" (07/2014)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A ripe, layered effort that took plenty of air time to come together (I followed all of these wines over two days), the 2012 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard offers gorgeous cherry and raspberry-like notes to go with ample spice-box, dried flowers and smoky characteristics on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant, it has solid mid-palate density, bright acidity and a big finish. This seemed slightly soft right on opening, but when I came back to the bottle a few hours later, it has come together brilliantly. (JD)" (04/2015)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Once again there is an all but invisible touch of wood setting off the cool, elegant and complex nose that is composed of dark cherry, raspberry, floral, tea and spice nuances. There is a lovely sense of energy to the well-delineated and beautifully refined flavors that possess a dusty mouth feel before terminating in a balanced and delicious finish that is subtly persistent. Here too there is a subtle hint of warmth but it is sufficiently slight that is does not affect the overall sense of harmony. *Outstanding*" (01/2015)

Jancis Robinson: "400 m from Alpine Vineyard but very different - protected from ocean winds and on a ridge of sedimentary shale called Monterey formation. Very intense and bold yet tightly laced. Almost fizzy. Great excitement and richness. 17.5/20 Points (JR)" (02/2015)