2012 Rhys "Horseshoe Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1237120 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 More lean and racy than the Apline Vineyard, the 2012 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard has thrilling Chablis-like minerality and green citrus to go with lots of lemon curd, mint and hints of sappy flowers. Not quite as broad shouldered as the Alpine Vineyard, yet just as pure, precise and layered, this is another thrilling Chardonnay from this team that will have 10-15 years (or more) of longevity. (JD)  (4/2015)

95 points Vinous

 Rich, oily and viscous on the palate, the 2014 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard is all about texture. Orange blossoms, mint, honey, apricot jam, butter and spices meld into the racy, voluptuous finish as the 2012 shows off its class and exuberant personality. A slight element of Burgundian-inflected reduction lingers on the close. If opened young, the 2012 needs a lot of air, but ideally readers should be prepared to cellar this gem for at least a few years. (AG)  (7/2015)

94 points John Gilman

 The 2012 Rhys chardonnay from the Horseshoe Vineyard is a beautiful and absolutely refined example of its varietal, coming in at a cool 13.1 percent alcohol and offering up plenty of terroir to go with its beautiful fruit tones. The deep and complex nose jumps from the glass in a stunning constellation of apple, pear, a touch of iodine, hazelnuts, a fine base of soil and a deft framing of buttery oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and still very youthful and primary, with lovely delineation and mid-palate depth, crisp acids and excellent length and grip on the well-balanced finish. This is still a very young wine (particularly on the palate) and I would not hesitate to tuck this away in the cellar for at least another three or four years before starting to drink it. Aromatically, there is a strong nod to Jean-François Coche’s white wines, and that is never a bad thing! Great juice. (Drink between 2018-2035) 94+ points  (8/2014)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright greenish yellow. Intensely perfumed bouquet of fresh orchard and citrus fruits, with complex iodine, mineral and jasmine qualities building with air. Concentrated but lithe and precise, offering slow-to-unfold bitter pear skin and quinine flavors that pick up sweetness and a hint of gingery spices with air. The mineral element dominates the finish, which shows excellent clarity and lingering florality. (ST)  (4/2014)

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...Great excitement and richness.  (2/2015)

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Price: $89.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

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.