2013 Rhys "Swan Terrace - Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1291149 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Coming from a small, east-facing parcel in the Alpine Vineyard, the sensational 2013 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace has a searing, gunpowder-like minerality to go with more subtle peppery spice, rose petal, liquid rock and perfumed red fruits. One of the most structured and firm 2013s, its defined by its tight tannic structure on the palate and needs 2-3 years of cellaring. It's another terrific 2013 that will see its 15th birthday in fine form. (JD)  (10/2016)

95 points Vinous

 A dark, mysterious wine, the 2013 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace stands out for its ample texture and body. Dark red cherry, plum, cloves, new leather and menthol blossom in a ripe, overt wine. Here, too, readers can expect a wine that will drink well with minimal cellaring. Today, the Swan Terrace comes across as much more open than it did from barrel. It will be interesting to see if the 2013 shuts down in bottle. (AG)  (7/2015)

94 points John Gilman

 As I noted last year, the Swan Terrace bottling hails from an easterly-facing section of Alpine Vineyard that merits a bottling on its own for its own unique voice of terroir. The 2013 version is a marvelously elegant and complex wine on both the nose and palate, offering up a cool fruit mélange of dark berries, bing cherries, beautiful botanicals, a touch of gamebird, lovely minerality, vinesmoke and a gentle topnote of cardamom. On the palate the wine is medium-full, tangy and very intensely flavored, with a fine core, moderate tannins and great transparency on the very long, youthful and oh, so promising finish. This is the lowest octane bottling of pinot noir from the Rhys lineup in 2013, coming in at a svelte 12.2 percent alcohol, but there is no shortage of stuffing or intensity and all this lovely wine needs is time in the cellar to fully blossom. (Drink between 2020-2050) 94+ points  (8/2015)

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Price: $119.99

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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.