2012 Rhys "Swan Terrace" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1213935 95 points John Gilman

 The Swan Terrace, from an easterly-facing section of Alpine Vineyard, is utterly stunning in 2012. The wine is one of the lowest octane of the Rhys pinots this year, coming in at a cool 12.6 percent (most of the range are in the thirteen percent range this year), and the wine is magical. The nose is a pure and utterly superb mélange of black cherries, dark berries, black minerality, coffee bean, a potpourri of complex botanicals, woodsmoke, a touch of gamebird, cola and a gentle base of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and marvelously soil-driven, with a fine core of fruit, moderate tannins and a very, very long, complex and tangy finish. Beautiful wine. (Drink between 2019-2045)  (8/2014)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From a steep slope located between 1,210 and 1,300 feet above sea level, the 2012 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace shows lots of whole-cluster influence in its ground pepper, black cherry, wood smoke and forest floor/autumn leaf-driven personality. Hitting the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, bright acidity and plenty of concentration and tannic grip, this is a serious, structured and Burgundian Pinot Noir from this team that has the depth and class to evolve nicely for another decade or more. 95+ points. (JD)  (4/2015)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Brilliant ruby. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of black raspberry, cherry and potpourri, with a spicy quality gaining volume with air. Shows a darker fruit character on the palate, displaying intense cherry and blackberry flavors and a sexy floral pastille nuance. Chewy and tightly focused, finishing with superb clarity and power and smooth, slow-mounting tannins that fade into the lush, sappy fruit. (ST)  (5/2014)

93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 This is perhaps the most aromatically reserved wine in the range with mostly floral aromas of tea, black raspberry and subtle anise nuances. There is good volume and concentration to the muscular yet relatively refined medium-bodied flavors that possess plenty of dry extract that coats the palate on the dusty, intense and hugely long finish. This is arguably the biggest and most powerful though not the most elegant wine in the range that will also need plenty of patience. *Outstanding*  (1/2015)

93 points Vinous

 Dark red and plum notes meld into spice and floral notes in the 2012 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace. One of the more supple, accessible wines in the range, the 2012 is pure sensuality in the glass. The 100% whole clusters are practically buried by the intensity and radiance of the fruit. This is the only 2012 at Rhys that showed better from barrel than it does today from bottle. (AG)  (7/2014)

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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 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.

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:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.3