2011 Rhys "Bearwallow Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1165155 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid red. Strong raspberry and cherry-cola aromas, with suave floral and Asian spices adding complexity. Silky and very fresh, with impressively focused red fruit flavors and a building note of rose pastille. The persistent, gently tannic finish emphatically repeats the red berry and floral notes and lingers with bright, spicy intensity.  (5/2013)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 This is less obviously floral than the Alpine but slightly more aromatically complex with its elegant aromas of violets, plums and red currants. There is really lovely intensity to the delicious middle weight flavors that possess a bit more volume before culminating in a structured, serious and clearly built-to-age finish. Good stuff.  (1/2014)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Like in 2012, the 2011 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is distinctly different than the Santa Cruz Mountain releases in both its aromatics and texture. Giving up loads of underbrush, juniper berry, lavender, currants and sweet kirsch, it hits the palate with medium-bodied depth and richness, nicely integrated acidity and tannin, and a clean, focused finish that lacks length compared to the 2012. Elegant, upfront, complex and classy, drink it over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)  (4/2015)

90 points Vinous

 Sweet tobacco, herbs, licorice and dried black cherries lift out of the glass in the 2011 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard. Subtle floral and savory notes are woven throughout. The 2011 shows lovely energy and depth, but also the modest structure typical of Anderson Valley Pinots in this vintage. I expect the Bearwallow 2011 will drink well pretty much upon release and for at least a handful of years to follow. This is a terrific showing in a vintage that was very tough in the Anderson Valley. The 2011 was made with 35% whole clusters. (AG)  (7/2013)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A dusty mix of dried herb and savory berry is at the core of this balanced effort. Turns dry, with persistent savory-graphite-crushed rock minerality, lending this a juicy aftertaste. Drink now through 2022. (JL)  (3/2015)

K&L Notes

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, it is suggested 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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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.

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.


- 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.