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2011 Rhys "Alpine Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1170576 95 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2011 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard shows the broad shoulders typical of so many Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnays. Honey, almonds, crème brulee and apricot jam are all layered into the finish. The Alpine is a little more overt and exotic than the Horseshoe at this stage. It is an exceptionally beautiful, totally dazzling wine. (AG) Inner quote mark (7/2013)

94 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark he 2011 Alpine Vineyard chardonnay from Rhys Vineyards is another absolutely stellar bottle in the making, offering up a deep, pure and magically complex bouquet of delicious apple, buttered pears, orange peel, a nice touch of leesiness, a very complex base of stony soil tones, a bit of hazelnut, very suave framing of new oak and a touch of smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and tightly-knit, with great nascent complexity, a superb core, bright, zesty acids and outstanding length and grip on the very classy finish. This almost has a bit of Meursault-like personality to it, and like the 2011 Horseshoe Vineyard, this wine will age impeccably well on its seamless balance and will be even better with a few years’ worth of cellaring to unlock its secondary layers of complexity. A great wine. Drink between 2013-2025. Inner quote mark (6/2013)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark A small click back from the 2012, the 2011 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard is slightly deeper in color, with more apple, honeyed citrus, brioche, hazelnut and lemon cream giving way to a medium-bodied, layered, nicely concentrated and balanced feel on the palate. Freshening up in the glass, this is a classic, high-quality Chardonnay that will continue to evolve gracefully over the coming 7-8 years (and probably longer). (JD) Inner quote mark (4/2015)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Vivid gold. Spice-accented aromas of peach pit, tangerine and white flowers, with a buttery nuance adding depth. Shows very good energy, offering sappy orchard and pit fruit flavors and a touch of bitter citrus pith. Finishes smoky and long, with resonating floral and toasted nut notes and suave minerality. (ST) Inner quote mark (6/2013)

K&L Notes

The estate wines of Rhys Vineyards are made from organic and biodynamically farmed fruit. Owner Kevin Harvey and winemaker Jeff Brinkman continue to fashion truly remarkable wines, indeed they are consistently among the best examples that California has to offer. At each of their vineyards sites over 75% of the land is left in a completely natural state. In addition to the native wildlife, they plant herbs, flowers, vegetables and grain crops while free ranging chickens and sheep also help naturally fertilize the vineyards. This is all part of their philosophy that creating a living soil creates better wine. Their winemaking process, from harvest to bottling, is based on a gravity system and the wines are never pumped, fined, or filtered. Readers should be aware that the Rhys wines are clearly fashioned in a built-to-age style and thus are most assuredly not intended to show their best young. Thus, I would suggest that if you're going to buy them, do so with the intent to allow for at least a few years of bottle age.

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Price: $74.99
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