2013 Rhys "Porcupine Hill" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1267459 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Coming from a single parcel of high density vines in the Bearwallow Vineyard in Anderson Valley, the 2013 Pinot Noir Porcupine Hill knocks it out of the park with it intensity and depth. Giving up fabulous black raspberry, dried rose petal, violets and spice/incense, it's pure class on the palate and has an ethereal texture, perfect balance and a great finish. While distinctly different from the Santa Cruz Mountain releases, it's at the same quality level. (JD)  (7/2015)

93 points John Gilman

 The 2013 Porcupine Hill pinot noir from Kevin Harvey and his talented team at Rhys comes in at a very civilized 12.7 percent octane in this vintage. This is a new, high density planting of vines in the Bearwallow Vineyard, that are on a hillside section that was not previously cultivated and are planted to a density of 17,000 vines per hectare! The wine offers up beautiful nascent complexity on both the nose and palate, wafting from the glass in a classy aromatic constellation of red and black cherries, woodsmoke, French roast, a touch of chicory, beautiful dark soil tones, a hint of cedar and a gentle topnote of mustard seed. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and light on its feet, with outstanding intensity of flavor, moderate, fine-grained tannins, lovely acids and superb length and grip on the poised and still fairly primary finish. This will be all too easy to drink out of the blocks, but there is no doubt that a bit of self-restraint will be very well-rewarded four or five years down the road, as this wine has layers of complexity still to unfold with time! As this is still quite young vines, I am sure that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg here and the Porcupine Hill bottling is going to get better and better as these vines get older. (Drink between 2019-2050) 93+ points  (4/2015)

93 points Vinous

 The 2013 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard Porcupine Hill appears to be going through a closed phase, as it is not as expressive as it has been on the two occasions I tasted it from barrel. Today, the Porcupine Hill gives the impression of being more aromatic and lifted than the straight Bearwallow, but today the tannins are imposing. White pepper, chalk, orange peel and tobacco add nuance, but it is the wine's power that stands out above all else. Readers will have to be patient. (AG)  (7/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 High-density planted subsection of Bearwallow. 7,000 vines per acre here while most of their vineyards are 2,400 vines/ha. Immediately more complex on the nose than the less densely planted Bearwallow version. Rich start and then great, compact, tightly packed palate. Very subtle. (JR)  (5/2015)

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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 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.
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.
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.
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.