2009 Rhys "Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard tends towards a dark red, almost black expression of wild cherries. It is an intensely coiled, powerful wine in need of a few years of cellaring. The mineral notes speak very clearly in this pointed, beautifully articulated Pinot. With time in the glass the wine’s inner perfume begins to emerge, but the best is years away. The chiseled, pure finish leaves a lasting impression. This is the most finely-knit, complete wine in the Rhys portfolio. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. (AG)
The 2009 Alpine pinot is superb and perhaps a small step up in quality from the dancing Bearwallow this year. The deep and impressively complex nose jumps from the glass in a blaze of dark berries, cola, vinesmoke, superbly complex soil nuances, fresh herbs, a touch of gamebird and a stylish base of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite black fruity as well, with a rock solid core of fruit, ripe, well-integrated tannins, tangy acids and great backend soil drive on the very long and classy finish. This is more overtly 'Burgundian' in its stylistic sensibilities than the Bearwallow, but will need even a few more years than that wine to fully unfold and start to realize all of its potential. Superb juice. (Drink between 2017-2040)
Allen Meadows - Burghound
*Outstanding* Here the nose is similar to that of the Skyline but with more obvious spice notes that carry over to the exceptionally rich and large-scaled flavors that possess very firm and ripe tannins that coat the mouth yet are not aggressive or drying. This very serious effort is not as refined as the Skyline but it is just as complex and a lot more powerful.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby. Ripe red berries and cherry-vanilla on the nose, with complicating notes of dried rose, cola and Asian spices. Fleshy and smooth in texture, offering sweet but lively red and dark berry flavors and hints of sassafras and candied rose. Finishes on an expansive cherry note, with resonating spiciness and a sexy floral nuance. (ST)
This tight red shows loamy earth, dried berry and anise flavors, ending with a crushed rock note and gritty tannins. Offers the purest, cleanest and ripest expression of the 2009 Rhys bottlings. Drink now through 2022. (JL)
Producer note from Burghound: "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."