2010 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1148243 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Green-tinged gold. Complex, highly fragrant aromas of peach pit, melon and candied orange, with intense mineral and iodine qualities gaining power with air. Sappy and expansive, offering vibrant pit fruit, pear and anise flavors lifted by zesty minerality. Rich but lithe and stony, finishing with excellent clarity and a persistent note of bitter citrus pith. I was strongly reminded of a serious Chablis.  (5/2012)

94 points Vinous

 It is amazing to witness just how much freshness and vibrancy the 2010 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard has acquired over the last year. Bright, floral, mineral-infused notes have developed, adding considerable nuance and understated finesse to layers of deeply expressive, exotic fruit. This is a fabulous showing from Rhys.  (7/2013)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard comes across as surprisingly tropical for Rhys. Pineapple, passion fruit, mint, flowers and honey wrap around the palate in this juicy, expressive Chardonnay. Mineral notes appear later to frame the finish. The 2010 harvest produced the lowest alcohols yet for Chardonnay at Rhys. I also tasted the 2007, which was never commercially released. That wine has acquired quite a bit of complexity, with notes of smokiness and graphite that round out the fruit. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.  (8/2012)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Alluring honey, beeswax and ripe fig aromas give this the appearance of a much richer wine. On the palate the flavors are vibrant and more streamlined, ending with a mix of citrus, green apple and butterscotch flavors, long and lingering. Drink now through 2021.  (6/2014)

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.

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
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:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.
Organic: