2011 Rhys "Family Farm Vineyard" San Mateo County Pinot Noir

SKU #1170050 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. Black raspberry, cherry pit, Asian spices and smoky oak on the nose. Fine-grained and sappy, with strong lift to the flavors of dark raspberry, bitter cherry and blood orange. Finishes long, on a faintly medicinal note, with sweet harmonious tannins and lingering spiciness. (ST)  (5/2013)

91 points Vinous

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is one of the wilder wines in this range of 2011 Pinots. Game, tar, licorice and dark fruits all take on an intensely mineral personality with distinct volcanic overtones reminiscent of Aglianico and Taurasi. The layered, exotic finish is compelling and full of character. (AG)  (7/2013)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Still showing its oak elevage, with some char and vanilla in its sweet cherry, old hearth, roasted herbs and licorice aromas and flavors, the 2011 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is medium-bodied, nicely textured and has notable acidity that comes through on the finish. This is one of the few wines from Kevin where the oak sticks out (it does integrate more with air), nevertheless, it's still outstanding and has lots to love. (JD)  (4/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Aromas of damp clay and wet earth join dried herb and savory dried berry notes in this taut, distinctive wine. The tannins are earth-laced and gritty, so this may be best after a few years in the cellar. Best after 2016. (JL)  (3/2015)

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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 Spätburgunder 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:

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 RhĂ´ne varietals prosper as well.
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