2009 Rhys "Bearwallow" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1080600 93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A ripe, spicy and quite densely fruited nose speaks of a pretty mix of both red and blue Pinot fruit along with background hints of cassis. The restrained intense and strikingly well-detailed medium-bodied flavors possess an abundance of mouth coating extract that buffers the firm tannic spine on the impressively complex, long and exquisitely balanced finish.  (10/2011)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Intriguingly perfumed bouquet of strawberry and raspberry, along with a high-pitched blood orange note and a seductive floral quality. Shows an array of sweet red fruit and spice flavors and a zesty mineral nuance that adds sharpness and definition. The finish leaves suave floral and spicecake notes behind, along with emphatically juicy red fruits and a hint of cola.  (6/2011)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard offers up sweet red cherries, flowers, berries and mint in a relatively mid-weight, focused style for this winery. Clean, saline notes give the wine much of its energy and focus. It is a tight, inward wine in need of at least a few years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.  (8/2011)

92 points Vinous

 The 2009 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard offers up sweet red cherries, flowers, berries and mint in a relatively mid-weight, focused style for this winery. Clean, saline notes give the wine much of its energy and focus. It is a tight, inward wine in need of at least a few years of cellaring.  (8/2011)

K&L Notes

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. The colorfully named Bearwallow vineyard is actually named after a soil series called Bearwallow-Wolfey soil series. When Santa Cruz Mountains-based Rhys acquired this Mendocino County property, it already had seven acres of Pinot Noir planted on the moderate to steeply sloping land. The 2009 was made from those earlier plantings.

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Sp├Ątburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Anderson Valley/Mendocino

- Cooled by the nearby ocean and the seemingly omnipresent bank of oceanic fog, this picturesque wine region is home to a wealth of cool-climate grapes like riesling and gew├╝rztraminer plus chardonnay and pinor noir, which are responsible for impressive and intense sparkling wines.
Organic: