2008 Rhys "Family Farm Vineyard" San Mateo County Pinot Noir

SKU #1071683 92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 An attractively layered and fresh ripe red berry fruit and overtly floral nose offers excellent complexity that continues onto the rich but elegantly rendered medium-bodied flavors that possess a seductive texture and perfect balance on the lingering finish. This should age extremely well as everything is in perfect proportion...That the wines are of very high quality is evident but what is wonderfully refreshing is that the wines are also unique and original. Simply put, they are unlike any other pinots being crafted in California today. I hasten to point out that this is not because their methods are radically different (there are others who use very high percentages of whole cluster ferments along with natural yeasts). No, the difference is straightforward: it is because Harvey has chosen his vineyard sites with a keen eye and then obsessively developed them with the one goal of obtaining fruit that expresses unerringly the uniqueness of site. Simply put, these are terroir-driven wines par excellence. *Outstanding*  (10/2010)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid medium red. Fresh, complex nose melds musky raspberry, blood orange, smoky minerality, brown spices, mocha and underbrush. Firm, gripping and almost weightless but packed with red fruit flavors, picking up a bitter cherry pit quality with air. Finishes very long, sweet and perfumed, with fine-grained tannins and notes of singed orange and Asian spices. Pretty impressive and complex already. (ST)  (6/2010)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Under the Rhys label, the 2008 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard (600 cases) reveals a dark ruby color along with lots of pomegranate, red currant, and cherry notes, tart acids, medium to full body, a distinct stemminess (that no doubt comes from 100% whole clusters), and firm, hard tannins in the finish. This cuvee is clearly built for aging, and if my instincts are correct, it will evolve for 10-12 years. (RP) 89-91+  (2/2010)


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Price: $74.99

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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.
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:

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: