2011 Rhys "Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1171772 95 points John Gilman

 The 2011 Alpine Vineyard pinot noir from Rhys Vineyards is another low alcohol beauty, coming in at 12.3 percent and offering up a stunning bouquet of dark berries, black cherries, dried eucalyptus, tea-smoked duck, gorgeous minerality, vinesmoke, fresh herbs and a dollop of new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and very intensely flavored, with a fine core, stunning transparency, great, nascent complexity, moderate tannins and magical length and grip on the focused and utterly classic young finish. Another absolutely great wine and probably the pick of the litter in this stunning lineup of 2011 Rhys Pinot Noirs. (Drink between 2018-2040)  (6/2013)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark red. Sweet dark berry and cherry-cola scents are complicated by musky herbs, dried flowers and minerals, with a suave undercurrent of Indian spices. Powerful black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors are firmed by tangy acidity, which adds lift and back-end cut. This wine has the focus, balance and concentration to repay at least five to seven years of cellaring. (ST)  (5/2013)

93 points Vinous

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard comes across as a bit heavy, even in this cool vintage. Black cherries, plums, incense, orange peel, smoke and melted road tar explode from the glass in a Pinot that is all about structure. The firm, grippy tannins suggest the 2011 will enjoy a long life by California standards. There is a lot to like here, and there will be even more, if the wine finds a more finessed voice with further time in bottle. The 2011 was with 18% whole clusters. (AG) 93+  (7/2013)

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Price: $89.99
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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.
Organic: