2007 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
I had never tasted the 2007 Horseshoe pinot from Rhys and it is another outstanding bottle in the making. In fact, it is going to be very difficult for a very long time choosing a favorite between the 2007 and the 2008 Horseshoe, as they are both stellar pinots. The nose on the ’07 is a superb and very black fruity mélange of cassis, dark berries, a touch of tariness, bitter chocolate, vinesmoke, very complex soil tones, and a nice touch of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full and very, very pure, with lovely, nascent complexity, a fine core, ripe, well-integrated tannins and outstanding length and grip on the focused and tangy finish. A very young and very, very classy bottle of pinot. (Drink between 2017-2040) 94+ points
Allen Meadows - Burghound
This is at once less restrained but more refined with a red and black cherry nose that carries very subtle spice and stone notes over to the very serious, intense, focused and concentrated flavors that are supported by big and robust yet sophisticated tannins that, like the Skyline, are completely buffered by the copious dry extract on the strikingly persistent finish. The dense but fine tannins and the impeccable balance will enable this to age for years and it would be a shame to drink the '07 Horseshoe too young. The estate wines of Rhys Vineyards are made from biodynamically farmed fruit and owner Kevin Harvey, viticulturalist Jason Jardine and winemaker Jeff Brinkman, continue to drive the wines to new heights.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The vineyards are generally tightly spaced (2 by 3 feet for Pinot Noir and 4 by 3 feet for Syrah), and the clonal selections are multiple in order to hopefully achieve more complexity and nuance. This is an impressive, well thought out operation, believing, certainly with Pinot Noir, in whole clusters, no racking, and a minimal, artisinal approach to winemaking. The yields are naturally very small because of the terroirs, rootstocks, and clones, and the wines are made to age. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark red. Powerful, mineral-driven aromas of black raspberry and cherry skin, with slow-mounting floral and spice qualities. Firm, finely etched dark berry flavors are framed by silky tannins, which add focus and back-end grip. The mineral and floral qualities gain strength on the long, alluringly spicy finish. This wine's mineral and cherry character reminded me of a Gevrey grand cru. (ST)
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."