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2012 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1204862 95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Explosively perfumed cherry-cola, dark berry liqueur, incense and mineral aromas show superb clarity and depth, with a sexy floral quality building with air. Offers palate-staining black raspberry and spicecake flavors that become sweeter and deeper with air. This rich but strikingly lithe and tensile pinot deftly plays power and depth off of vivacity and finishes sweet, youthfully tannic and extremely long. One of the most impressive Pinots I've tasted from the New World, or Burgundy for that matter, in quite a while. (ST)  (5/2014)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A ripe, layered effort that took plenty of air time to come together (I followed all of these wines over two days), the 2012 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard offers gorgeous cherry and raspberry-like notes to go with ample spice-box, dried flowers and smoky characteristics on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant, it has solid mid-palate density, bright acidity and a big finish. This seemed slightly soft right on opening, but when I came back to the bottle a few hours later, it has come together brilliantly. (JD) 94+  (4/2015)

94 points Vinous

 Racy and explosive to the core, the 2012 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard hits the palate with a compelling melange of dark red and black stone fruits, cloves, new leather and menthol. Here the style is all about voluptuousness and texture, two qualities the 2012 has in spades. The Horseshoe was fermented with 20% whole clusters, but they are barely evident given the wine's pure intensity and volume. This full-bodied, exceptionally balanced Pinot from Rhys is striking from start to finish. (AG)  (7/2014)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Once again there is an all but invisible touch of wood setting off the cool, elegant and complex nose that is composed of dark cherry, raspberry, floral, tea and spice nuances. There is a lovely sense of energy to the well-delineated and beautifully refined flavors that possess a dusty mouth feel before terminating in a balanced and delicious finish that is subtly persistent. Here too there is a subtle hint of warmth but it is sufficiently slight that is does not affect the overall sense of harmony. *Outstanding*  (1/2015)

90 points John Gilman

 The 2012 pinot noir from Horseshoe Vineyard came in pretty ripe in this vintage, tipping the scales at 13.5 percent, and of all the Rhys bottlings this year, this was one of my least favorites, as it seemed to have sacrificed just a bit of precision to the ripeness. This is still a very good wine, but by the high standards of this winery, just a tad disappointing this year, as it offers up a ripe and black fruity bouquet of black cherries, plums, chocolate, woodsmoke, dark soil tones, botanicals and a touch of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely balanced on the attack, with a plump core, nice complexity and just a suggestion of backend heat on the long and velvety finish. This is not bad at all, but the bar has been set pretty high here by the Rhys team in the last several years, and this vintage of Horseshoe will never be one of my favorites. (Drink between 2014-2025)  (7/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 400 m from Alpine Vineyard but very different - protected from ocean winds and on a ridge of sedimentary shale called Monterey formation. Very intense and bold yet tightly laced. Almost fizzy. Great excitement and richness. (JR) 17.5/20 points  (2/2015)


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