2007 Rhys "Swan Terrace - Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1080577 94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A ripe, pure and airy nose of black cherry and cassis aromas trimmed in obvious floral notes that can also be found on the extremely fresh and energetic, serious and dense flavors that carry an intense minerality over to the robust, powerful and very firmly structured finish that seems to go on and on without end. This stunning effort is a clear candidate for 'wine of the vintage' honors though patience is absolutely required.  (10/2009)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale violet color. Drop-dead gorgeous aromas of raspberry, potpourri, Asian spices and minerals, with a strong undercurrent of white pepper and mocha; this smells like a Dujac Echezeaux, from a serious vintage. Sweet red and dark berry flavors display liqueur-like depth, tangy minerality giving the wine verve. The mineral note dominates the long, spicy finish, which echoes the red fruit and floral notes. It's hard to find this level of precision, depth and drive outside the high-rent districts of Chambolle. (ST)  (6/2009)

92 points John Gilman

 The 2007 Swan Terrace pinot saw a bit more new oak in this vintage than was the case in 2009 for instance, as it was raised in two-thirds new barrels in comparison to one-third for the latter vintage. Consequently, the wine is just a touch more marked by its wood component on both the nose and palate at this point, as it offers up a youthful mélange of black cherries, dark berries, espresso, nice herbal complexities, smoke, a fine base of soil and a fair bit of spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, closed and beautifully balanced, with fine mid-palate depth, tangy acids and superb length and grip on the still fairly chewy and primary finish. This will be lovely, but it seems pretty clear that the 2009, with half the new wood, shows even more terroir than the 2007- despite the ’07 hailing from a vintage that should be even more adroit that showing off its soil tones. (Drink between 2017-2035) 92+  (5/2011)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From their vineyard known as the Swan Terrace, there are 150 cases of the Rhys 2007 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace. Again, this has that almost liqueur of mineral characteristic intermixed with red and black fruits and a Musigny-like floral, rocky character to the flavors. Tart, tightly knit, with outstanding weight, the wine is intellectually challenging, but very promising Pinot Noir that looks set for an exceptionally long life. (RP)  (12/2008)

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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.


- 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 Rhône varietals prosper as well.