2016 Rhys "Alesia" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1398231 94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 A step up over the Anderson Valley release, the 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Alesia gets fruit from five of the six single vineyards (no Skyline fruit) and it offers a sensational bouquet of ripe cherries, currants, rose petals, conifer trees, and sappy flowers. Complex, medium-bodied, elegant, and seamless, it’s a beautiful, beautiful wine that unquestionably plays in the same league as the single vineyards.  (2/2019)

91 points John Gilman

 The 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains bottling under the Alesia label is also nicely cool and vibrant, with the same alcohol level of 12.9 percent of the Anderson Valley example. The wine is a bit more black fruity and quite a bit more mineral in profile than the lovely Anderson Valley cuvée, offering up a fine bouquet of sweet dark berries, black cherries, woodsmoke, a hint of gamebird, raw cocoa and a superb base of stony minerality. On the palate the wine is precise, full and marvelously tangy, with a fine mid-palate depth, lovely backend mineral drive, moderate tannins and a long, complex and very classy finish. This does not have the same dimension as the top Santa Cruz Mountain bottlings of pinot under the Rhys label, but it is very easy to see that they all share the same vineyard pedigree. Just a beautiful bottle. (Drink between 2018-2045) 91+ points  (8/2019)

90 points Vinous

 The 2016 Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains) is a terrific appellation-level wine. Lifted and gracious, with terrific energy and cut, the 2016 is super-expressive today. Bright red cherry, orange peel, mint and chalky notes give the 2016 is attractive aromatic top notes to play off the wine's energetic personality. The 2016 includes all the fruit from Rhys's new Mt. Pajaro vineyard. (AG)  (8/2018)


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Price: $49.95

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Additional Information:

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.