2014 Rhys "Swan Terrace" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1296590 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Coming from a small, east-facing section of the Alpine Vineyard and very chalky soils, the 2014 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace is an impeccably balanced, complete Pinot Noir that has everything you could want from the grape. Gorgeous red and black fruits, roasted herbs, smoked earth and spice all jump from the glass of this seamless red that has polished tannin (and plenty of them), a layered, balanced profile and no shortage of length. Like all of these 2014s, it needs short-term cellaring and will have two decades of overall longevity. (JD)  (10/2016)

94 points John Gilman

 The 2014 Swan Terrace Pinot Noir, which comes from an easterly-facing section of Alpine Vineyard, is absolutely stellar in this vintage. The wine is a tad lower in octane than the Alpine bottling (12.7 versus 13.0 percent) and offers up a superb and absolutely precise bouquet of sweet dark berries, black cherries, espresso, complex minerality, chicory, woodsmoke, a youthful touch of stems and cedar. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish, complex and tangy, with a good core, fine-grained tannins and lovely length and grip on the soil-driven finish. This is fully a half point higher in octane than the thoroughbred 2013 version, but it continues the line of Swan Terrace bottlings that deliver great intensity of flavor without undue weight. Fine, fine juice. (Drink between 2020-2055)  (7/2016)

93 points Vinous

 The 2014 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace brings together the richness of the vintage with good aromatic complexity and nuance. The flavors are bold and intense throughout, with plenty of supporting structure to match. Dark red cherry, menthol, dark spices and leather fill out the wine's ample frame nicely. The 2014 is another wine in the range that is going to require considerable time to come together. This is a decidedly dark and intense Pinot. The 100% whole clusters are nearly buried by the intensity of the fruit. The Swan Terrace is a decidedly dark, brooding wine that shows the more virile side of Pinot. (AG)  (7/2016)


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Price: $109.99

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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 Rhône varietals prosper as well.