2007 Rhys "Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
With aeration, the firm, structured 2007 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard (a 10-acre site planted at a 1,400 foot elevation) offers up notions of sweet and sour cherries, earth, and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied and pure, with good acidity and texture, this impressive Pinot will benefit from several years of aging. One-hundred percent whole clusters were used in its upbringing. (RP)
Allen Meadows - Burghound
**Outstanding** A ripe and distinctly floral nose that reveals light spice notes to the plum and dark berry fruit aromas that precede very rich, round and substantial flavors blessed with excellent dry extract that buffers the firm structural elements on the delicious, mouth coating and very serious finish. It's clear that the phenolics are completely mature and as such, this could be drunk now with pleasure (be sure to let it air for an hour first) or held for another 7 to 8 years first.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep red. Youthful cherry and dark berry skin aromas slowly pick up anise, cola and dried rose nuances. Firm, refreshingly bitter cherry and blackcurrant flavors are framed by dusty tannins and pick up a tangy mineral note with air. The tannins add grip to the very long, chewy finish. Give this at least an hour of decanting or a few more years in the cellar. There's a Nuits-Saint-Georges-like austerity and structure to this wine that's pretty intriguing.
Producer note: The estate wines of Rhys Vineyards are made from organic and biodynamically farmed fruit. Owner Kevin Harvey and winemaker Jeff Brinkman continue to fashion truly remarkable wines, indeed they are consistently among the best examples that California has to offer. At each of their vineyards sites over 75% of the land is left in a completely natural state. In addition to the native wildlife, they plant herbs, flowers, vegetables and grain crops while free ranging chickens and sheep also help naturally fertilize the vineyards. This is all part of their philosophy that creating a living soil creates better wine. Their winemaking process, from harvest to bottling, is based on a gravity system and the wines are never pumped, fined, or filtered. Readers should be aware that the Rhys wines are clearly fashioned in a built-to-age style and thus are most assuredly not intended to show their best young. Thus, I would suggest that if you're going to buy them, do so with the intent to allow for at least a few years of bottle age.