Follow The Prince
twitter icon rss icon

Rhys Vineyards

Owner(s) Kevin Harvey
Web site www.rhysvineyards.com
 
Link to this site
Rhys Vineyards

Owner Kevin Harvey is a Burgundy fanatic. With the available finances from a successful software career and as one of the founders of Benchmark Capital, he began planting Pinot Noir in his backyard, which is technically just outside the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, on the site of an old Christmas tree farm. He later added three vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and one in the Anderson Valley. In early 2012, Harvey acquired an abandoned apple orchard on the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains and plans to plant an additional 20 acres there in 2013.

The name chosen for the winery, Rhys, is derived from Reese, a family name. The first estate vineyard Pinot Noir release came in 2004 and the 2007 vintage was the first in which all five vineyards were in production (Home Vineyard, Family Farm Vineyard, Alpine Vineyard, Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard, Skyline Vineyard). A second bottling from Alpine Vineyard, Swan Terrace, is kept separate because of its distinctive character. The wines are a revelation for lovers of terroir driven distinctive wines. Interestingly, Harvey has shunned the newer Dijon clones for the most part and instead planted "suitcase" clones and heritage selections. Over time, the best performing selections have been culled and the poorer performing selections grafting over in a process of massale selection. Yields have been painfully low and in some vintages, namely 2011, harvest was down 60 percent from 2009 and 2010.

A new vineyard project in the Anderson Valley is called Bearwallow. Located in the deep end of the valley, the vineyard shows great potential. Like all Rhys vineyards, Bearwallow meats all the most important criteria: shallow soils which limit vigor, deeply fractured and rocky subsoil allows vine roots to penetrate deeply, steep non-forested slopes, iron rich soils, moderate clay content and limited water holding capacity and a cool climate. The vineyard is named after the Bearwallow-Wolfey soil series that dominates the property. The vineyard had 7 acres of 9-year-old vines when acquired and new blocks have been planted. 2008 was the inaugural vintage (made from existing vines).

Initially, Rhys wines were crafted in rented space and later in a large warehouse. A winery was needed, and Harvey built a 30,000-square-foot winery tunneled into a hillside adjacent Skyline Vineyard. Production moved into the new winery for the 2010 harvest. Essentially, grapes enter through one set of doors, and wine is shipped out through a second set of doors, with all vinification, bottling. barrel storage and processing for shipping performed in the winery cave. The cave was built by Nordby Wine Caves and winemaker Jeff Brinkman took nearly three years working on the design. The fermentation room at the winery has 120 custom-built 1-ton stainless steel tanks as well as 10 1-ton Tonnellerie Rousseau oak tanks. In principle, each tank handles a specific block from the vineyard.

Winemaking is straightforward with about the only variables the amount of new oak used for aging and whole cluster used in vinifying Pinot Noir. The idea is to remove the winemaking signature and produce wines like "staring into a glass of vineyard."

A second label, Alesia, consisting of wines made from purchased grapes, and not quite up to the high standard of the Rhys wines, was essentially discontinued after the 2008 harvest, but occasionally revived when appropriate sources arise.

Total current production is about 5,000 cases per year.The wines are highly allocated and sold only through a mailing list. A tasting room and hospitality center adjacent the winery will eventually be open by appointment only.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Alesia Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

40% whole cluster, 45% new French oak. · Deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black raspberries and spice. Slightly rustic with black fruit flavors and firm, balanced tannins. Very earthy, showing tastes of iron. Enters with good attack and exits in a slippery fashion with a bright cut of acidity on the finish. Unique. Good (+). Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

More aromatic with a slight tropical fruit scent complimenting the lemon notes. Complex, with flavors of lemon meringue, pineapple, vanilla cream and nuts. An hi-tone cut of acidity underlies the fruit and leads to a refreshing, dry finish. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

0% whole cluster. · Darker fruits with exotic spices and camphor are featured on the nose. Not as showy as the Horseshoe, with more modest fruit expression at this stage. Flavors of dark plum, Hoison, and blackberries with a smoky undertone. The wine is sporting muscular tannins that need time to soften and integrate. Very dry, well-defined finish. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Made from existing plantings of Dijon and Pommard clones. 8’ x 5’ spacing, planted 12 years ago. Almost no new oak, very little whole cluster. · Fragrant with fresh berry compote and vanilla. Juicy acidity elevates the dark berry, plum and pomegranate flavors which end with noticeable presence on a focused, tight and gritty finish. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Family Farm Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

12.8% alc.. 60% whole cluster, aged in 40% new French oak. · Aromas of grilled plum, earth, smoke and peat. Relatively undeveloped and closed, showing some appealing dark berry and smoky plum flavors with restrained, fine-grain tannins. Good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Home Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.2% alc.. 100% whole cluster, aged in 10% new French oak. · Highly perfumed with exotic spices including cardamom. Juicy and satisfying on the palate, featuring darker stone fruits and berries. The whole cluster really compliments the fruit. Finishes with a dry, focused finish that sports a hint of iron and loam. Exceptional. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

Aromas of lemon curd, apple, and wet stones. Restrained flavors of citrus fruits, green apple and quince with bright acidity on a sharply focused finished. Very classy, very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

0% whole cluster. · Slight reduction on the nose, disappearing slowly in the glass as fruit appears. The most striking feature of this wine, beyond the delicious dark berry, tea and spice flavors, is the very dry and distinct finish. If you wanted to choose one wine to show a person what “minerality” is, this wine would be a top choice. Exceptional. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Rhys Vineyards Skyline Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

50 cases from 14,000 vines or 1 bottle per 25 vines! Usually 100% whole cluster, but cautious in this vintage and reduced to 67%. Price was raised in this vintage and some complained, but everyone asked for more. Harvey calls this a “superstar” vineyard. The Syrah from this vineyard is superb, but the Pinot Noir is so amazing that the Syrah is being grafted over to Pinot Noir. · This wine has it all: highly flavored dark berry and plum fruit, tons of spice, plenty of minerality, beautiful balance, supple tannins, and a focused finish. Exceptional. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $NA. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very aromatic with expressive aromas of black cherry and exotic spices with a hint of toasty oak. Tasty mid weight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with a savory riff of tar, stem and tobacco. Juicy, with suave tannins, this forward drinking wine is solid but not exceptional. Score: 87. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Bearwallow Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $59. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas of cherry, spiced red plum and rose petals. Lighter in weight with redder fruits than the 2009 vintage, but offering fresher and juicier strawberry and cherry flavors. Mild, soft tannins and good vibrancy, this wine has more tension and appeal than the previous vintage. Score: 89. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Family Farm Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., $59. From a 6.16-acre vineyard planted to Swan, 115, Pommard and Rhys selection in alluvial clay loam soil. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very complex nose offering an array of aromas including black plum, black currant, spice, boot leather and hay bale. Moderately rich black fruit flavors with an added hint of cola and tar. There is so much character in this wine that the drinker is quickly sent back to the glass for another sip, looking to discover the many nuances over time. The finish is extraordinarily generous and long, and the underlying cut of acidity really brings the wine to life. The balance predicates a long life for this wine. Score: 93. Reviewed September 29, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.2% alc., $69. From 1.73 acres planted to Hyde, Wente and Dijon clones at 1,230 to 1,400 feet elevation. 24” of top soil over soft shale. Grapes are slowly whole cluster pressed for 4 hours. The must is settled overnight and barrels filled in morning. 20-25% new French oak barrels are used. The wine is left undisturbed in cask without stirring to complete native yeast fermentation that sometimes can take an entire year. · Golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Appealing aromas of lemon peel, pineapple, slate and a hint of nutty, buttery oak. Delicious core of yellow apple and lemon flavors with a hint of butter brickle and oak. The fruit really pops in the mouth and hangs on for a very long and glorious finish. Juicy, crisp and thoroughly satisfying in every way. Yum. Held up beautifully in an opened and re-corked bottle finished over two days. One of the best California Chardonnays I have ever tasted. Score: 96. Reviewed September 29, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.4% alc., $69. From 3.51 acres of tightly spaced vines planted on low vigor rootstock onto which are grafted a field mixture of heritage selections of Chardonnay (Wente, Hyde, Mt. Eden). Soils are 18” - 24” rocky topsoil over Monterey Shale. Gently whole cluster pressed for 4 hours. The must is settled overnight and in the morning the barrels are filled by gravity. 20-25% new French oak barrels are used. The wine is left undisturbed in barrel without stirring, completing a native yeast fermentation that can sometimes take an entire year. · Golden yellow color and clear in the glass. This is a subtle wine that reveals many nuances over time if you are patient. There is a clear vein of “minerality” running through this wine evident in the sea brine aromas and the vibrant underlying acidity. The flavors of apple, white peach, crème brûlée, and a hint of butterscotch are inviting, and the silky texture of the wine is dreamy. There is some finishing length as well, uncommon in many Chardonnays from California. With the modest alcohol and bright acidity, this is an ideal food wine, but it is wonderful on its own. Should be even more interesting in a few years. For connoisseur’s only. Score: 95. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $69. The vineyard is 11 acres situated at 1230 to 1400 feet elevation with a 20% to 40% slope. Soils are 20” to 24” topsoil over soft shale. Clones are Rhys selection and five heritage clones planted with 6’ x 4’ spacing. · Oh My God! Orgasmic nose offering aromas of dark stone and berry fruits with a hint of whole cluster floral notes including violets. The aromas last and last in the glass. Flat-out delicious on the palate with layered flavors of dark plum and blackberry fruits with plenty of spice. Perfectly balanced with a silky smooth texture and a finish of uncommon length and intensity spiked with juicy mineral-driven acidity. Impressive grace and refinement and very approachable now, but will improve over the next several years. An outrageously good wine that I could drink all night long. Still great two days later from a previously opened bottle. This one will bring you to your knees. Score: 98. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., $69. The vineyard is 10.85 acres situated at 1450 to 1610 feet elevation with a 10% to 25% slope. Soils are 18” to 24” rocky topsoil over Monterey shale. Clones are Rhys selection and two heritage clones planted with 6’ x 4’ spacing. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of red and black berries, smoky cave, and forest floor. Enticing flavors of spiced cherry, raspberry and baking spice with a touch of smoky oak in the background. Very appealing elegance and length with impressive fruit intensity and finish. Very silky and seamless with crisp acidity surfacing on the lovely finish. Score: 92. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Home Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $79. A field blend grown in decomposed sandstone. First vintage that includes new and old sections. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasing aromas of darker red and black stone fruits and berries with hints of forest floor, Asian 5-spice, mushroom, cut flowers and toasted oak. Soft in the mouth with reserved tannins and a good cut of acidity. Lighter in this vintage, and approachable now, but is a little brooding and should benefit from more time in bottle. Score: 90. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $99. The SwanTerrace is 1.5 acres of the Alpine Vineyard planted to a Swan field selection with 6’ x 4’ spacing. This block is situated at 1210 to 1300 feet elevation with a 20% slope. Soils are 12” to 15” top soil over soft shale. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. More brooding that the Alpine Vineyard bottling, but opens slowly in the glass, revealing its charms slowly. Aromas of earth-kissed blackberry and exotic spices. Hits the palate with a creamy, delicious presence, offering an array of purple and black fruits, hints of cola, spice and oak, and quenching acidity on the dramatic finish. With air, the wine becomes silkier and livelier. A little darker fruited and moodier than the Alpine Vineyard wine as well as a touch more rustic and bold. Beautifully balanced with restrained tannins. Even better two days later from a previously opened bottle. A winegasm. Score: 97. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2009 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.7% alc.. · Medium reddishpurple color in the glass. Shy initially, evolving nicely over time in the glass. Pleasing aromas of dark cherries and berries with a hint of exotic spice and rose petals. Delicious core of black raspberry fruit with a very subtle note of savory green herbs in the background. Juicy, with plentiful dry tannins. Very good. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Rhys Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $45. The inaugural Santa Cruz Mountain appellation Pinot Noir is a blend of barrels from Alpine and Horseshoe vineyards. As the vineyards mature and produce more wine with each vintage, more careful barrel selection is done to determine the final single vineyard wines, making this appellation bottling available. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Outgoing aromas of dark berries, spice, redwood and campfire. Deliciously rich and intensely flavored core of black cherry, dark berry and blueberry fruits, exotically spiced with a hint of lemongrass. Very soft and easy to drink now. Less refined the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, showing more oak. This is a solid daily drinker for current consumption. Good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Rhys Bearwallow Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $59. 6.56 acres planted to 115, 777 and Pommard clones. Walfey-Bearwallow series soils consisting of 6 to 24 inches of topsoil over deep fractured shale. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Satisfying fruity aromas including an array of dark berries and plum with a hint of vanilla. The core of dark berries and black plum flavors are saturating and bring the mid palate to attention. Creamy soft in the mouth with a generous fruit-driven finish. Riper fruit than in 2010. Score: 88. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc.. · Dark purple color in the glass. Complex nose offering aromas of forest floor, tea leaf, oak and shy darker berries. Despite decanting, the wine was not giving. Bold flavors of blackberry and plum wrapped in muscular tannin. Very earthy with an intense, sweet fruit-driven finish. Good. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Family Farm Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.6% alc., $49. Swan selection, Pommard clone, and Dijon 115 clone planted to 6’ x 6’ at 400 feet on clay loam soil. Yield 2.6 tons per acre. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure but pleasing scents of Bing cherries and cardamom spice with hints of minty oak and stem. Relatively delicate flavors of cherries, raspberries and red hard candy with a bright citrus peel note. Delivers more intensity with time in the glass but doesn’t excite. The nose trumps the flavors at this time. More akin to a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. About the same the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. May improve with cellaring. Good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas are clean and airy, smelling of a vast meadow of damp earth and brush, but also endowed with scents of ripe dark cherries and black raspberry syrup. I find this nose enchanting. On the palate, the wine offers a dark red fruit festival with a hint of baking spices showing more body, more finish and better integrated tannins than the 2007 vintage version. Very flavorful now but still young at heart. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $59. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of darker berries, briar and dark chocolate. Fresh, juicy and modestly rich, offering flavors of mixed blue and black berries backed by ripe, firm tannins. Still young, and a bit monotone now, the wine opens slowly and reluctantly in the glass. The finish, even now, is notable for its staying power. Slightly better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, showing a lighter character and more acidity than the 2007 vintage version. Very good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.3% alc., $59. Hyde and Wente selections, 76 and 96 clones planted to 6’ x 4’ at 1380 feet on soils with top soil over soft shale. Yield of 1.8 tons per acre. · Moderately light golden yellow color. Lovely perfume of lemon curd, white stone fruits and stewed apples. Delicious and layered, with notes of green apple, pears, brioche and toast. The wine has a bright steeliness due to the lively acidity. A beautiful wine that packs in plenty of flavor at modest alcohol: a win-win situation. Will age. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. Heritage and suitcase selections planted to 6’ x 4’ at 1230 feet on soils with top soil over soft shale. Yields 1.04 tons per acre. · Moderately intense reddish-purple color in the glass. Intense and intoxicating perfume of purple fruits, dried roses, and whole-cluster induced spiciness. A bit reticent, but offering a glimpse of intense plum and dark berry fruits that saturate the palate without being weighty, persisting on the intensely fruity finish that is highlighted by exotic spices and edible flowers. Nothing out of place. Much more open and giving two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Still a Lolita with huge potential. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., $59. 10.85 acres, 1450’-1610’ elevation with 20%-25% slope. Suitcase clones (Swan, Calera and La Tache). 18”-24” rocky top soil over Monterey shale. Yield .7 tons per acre. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy nose initially, opening over time to reveal enticing aromas of dark cherries and raspberries, Chinese Five Spice and faint oak. Luscious black raspberry fruit buried in prodigious tannins and bright acidity. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. I get the feeling this wine will be significantly better in another 3 to 5 years. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Skyline Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.2% alc., $69. · Moderately dark reddishpurple color in the glass. The nose is attention-getting with deep aromas of blackberries, sassafras, spice and old oak building in intensity over time in the glass. Blackberry and black plum flavors have interest but the wine is a bit tedious . Nicely crafted with notable but not intrusive tannins and the slightest oak in the background, but not enough Pinot singing on the finish. Slightly more expressive black fruits the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Check back in a few years. Good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Skyline Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.2% alc., $69. 2.12 acres at 2280’ to 2375’ with 20%-35% slope. Mixed suitcase clones closely planted. 2”-4” of top soil over Lorenzo shale and limestone. Yields 1.24 tons per acre. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Plenty of aromatic interest with scents of blackberry preserves, black currants, and kirsch with hints of spice and green garden. Tasty core of dark plum and berry fruits with complimentary oak highlights. Richly fruited, crisp and juicy, with noticeably firm, prominent tannins, and a refreshing lift of acidity on the bright finish. The most restrained tannins of the wines tasted here and the most approachable of the three wines. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Rhys Vineyards Swan Terrace Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $69. 1.5 acres, 20% slope, planted to a Swan field blend in 6’x4’ spacing. 12”-18” topsoil over soft shale. Yields 1 ton per acre. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. With intense swirling, an appealing scent of mixed berry preserves, crushed black grapes, and a hint of floral perfume emerges. The wine offers well-endowed flavors of plum sauce and dark red raspberries, cola and grilled meat. Rather linear now with the fruit buried in flamboyant tannins. There is some earth and mineral infused quality to the fruit which is appealing and I sense that this wine will perform beautifully in another five years. The wine benefited from re-corking the bottle and sampling it the next day. A connoisseur’s wine with unlimited potential. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Alesia Falstaff Road Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

This vineyard is located adjacent Benovia Winery planted in sandy Goldridge soils and impeccably farmed by owners Ron and Judy Lougheed. · Saddle up for this big boned wine. Very dark reddish-purple in color. When you pour it, you know you are in for a ride. Complex nose of dark stone fruits, hi-country forest and cardamon spice. Luscious dark fruit liqueur that is rich and plush on the mid palate with uncommonly long persistence. Olallieberry fruit stands out. Seriously fruity and definitely Caliesque but not jammy in the least with impeccable balance. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Alesia Green Valley Pinot Noir

A very pretty wine with the marvelous smell of a fresh cherry pie. Silky and vibrant with refined tannins and a citrus tang on the brisk finish. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Alesia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

A blend of several vineyards. · Showy and vibrant aromatics featuring black cherries and raspberries echoed in the flavors with good flavor persistence on the finish marked by lively acidity. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.7% alc.. Left on the lees until bottling. Unfined and unfiltered. · Chalky minerality runs through this superb wine. Accents of smoky oak, pear and citrus add interest. There is a lingering taste of lemon meringue pie on the finish which offers a refreshing grip of acid. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 450 cases. · Very showy scents of dark berries, root beer, herbs and roses. Vibrant fruitiness in the mouth with remarkable roundness and intensity considering the alcohol level. Very soft tannins make this wine easily approachable now. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.3% alc.. One barrel this vintage. 100% MLF. · Compared to the Alpine Ranch Chardonnay, this was more fruity and floral while demonstrating less acidity. It was very luscious showing off some tasty brioche, butter, pear and lemon notes. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Alesia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $35. · Nicely perfumed with raspberries, cherries and spice box. Tasty essence of red fruits including red plums, cherries and pomegranates with supple tannins and lively acidity contributing a tangy finish. A typical Caliesque wine with in-your-face fruit that will find fans. Good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $49. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Wonderful nose replete with bright aromas of black cherries, cherry pie, spice, vanilla, pipe smoke and an earthy goodness. Moderately rich basket of fresh black cherries wrapped in firm, slightly astringent tannins, filling the palate with flavor, finishing long and very dry. Much more interesting and expressive the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Patience will be rewarded. Very good (+). Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Family Farm Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $49. · Moderately dark reddishpurple color in the glass. Shy aromas of dark cherries and berries with notes of oak char and anise. The nose never really opens until the following day. Lavish core of dark berry, black currant and black plum flavors with impressive density and lip-smacking sappiness. The wine has a very seamless quality and finishes on a high note with delicious tannin-backed dark raspberry flavor. Equally fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good (+). Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Hillside Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 100 cases, $49. · Very dark reddish-purple hue (the Dark Knight in the lineup). On the nose there are bright fresh berries and wet rocks. Generous amounts of ripe Pinot fruits, especially black raspberry, with a base of minerals and earth that fan out nicely on the palate. Still restrained and seductive, hiding behind a healthy structure of ripe, firm tannins. A distinctive wine of great charisma that needs some time to fully reveal itself. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $49. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, spice and vanillin. Richly fruited with dense but crisp flavors of ripe dark fruits nicely spiced, mineral-imbued, and caressed by structured tannins. A silky and seductive wine that has charm. Unchanged one and two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Family Farm Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $49. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Loamy bright berry fruit accented with spice and chocolate. Tasty core of dark raspberry and strawberry fruits combined with a silky texture and a refreshing tang on the finish. Beautifully composed and harmonious. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Family Farm Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $49. Swan selection, Pommard clone, Dijon 115 clone planted on alluvial clay loam. Yield of 2.1 tons per acre. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Great nose with flamboyant scents of black cherry compote, raspberry jam, clove and other spices, and a hint of smoke. Dark red fruited with intense and vivid red plum and berry flavors framed by exotic spices. The tannins are firm and dry, the mouth feel is silky, and the balance is spot on. A beautiful, black tie Pinot Noir that demands attention. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.3% alc., $49. · This wine smells remarkably of damp earth. In the mouth, there are saucy blueberry and cherry fruits surrounded by healthy tannins. The winemaker said he could taste shale in the wine, something I could not confirm because of my limited experience in shale tasting. Heck, I could dig (sic) it and I could tell it was a wine that was clean, pure and pristine with an appealing suave texture. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Skyline Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $49. Yield 0.54 tons per acre. 50% new French oak barrels. · A very unique and challenging wine with exotically spiced black cherries and berries on the nose which carry over onto the palate with added brioche, grape and a hint of citrus. Prominent raspberry flavors explode and saturate the palate. An extremely intriguing spice box component is quite unique. A sensual and harmonious wine that still has some ripe tannins to shed. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $59. From a 1.5-acre section of Alpine Vineyard planted to a Swan field blend. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Another aromatic wonderland with scents of berry jam, spice, and an exotic floral note. Better and better over time in the glass. Would love to make a perfume like this. Amazingly fresh flavors of alpine strawberries with an interesting candied and edible flower note. I have never tasted anything quite like this in a California Pinot Noir. The wine displays healthy tannins, but they are better integrated in this wine and nicely balanced by the lively acidity. Filled with verve and intrigue, this is a wine to savor. Flat-out great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyard Home Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. 100% new oak. · Very complex and promiscuous scents of cherry syrup, raisin, brambly underbrush, warm croissant and even gingerbread. An appealing earthiness underlies the fruit which is rich and full on the palate and encased in gentle dry tannins. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 150 cases, $59. · This wine outshines the other two Rhys Alpine Road Vineyard Pinot Noirs which are very stellar in their own right. It just sucks the air out of you, leaving you speechless. I had very few notes written down on this one other than a star because all I could do was shake my head and smile. The demure dark stone and berry fruits laced with anise and musk grab you and draw you in. The wine is a revelation, exceeding the bounds of description. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $59. Clones are Hyde, Wente, 76 and 96 planted at 1380 feet elevation. Soils are 24” top soil over soft shale. Yield 1.28 tons per acre. · Light straw color in the glass. Crisp aromas of crushed rocks, metal shavings, flint, Asian pear and green apple. A restrained, classic style with flavors of green apple, lemon, and flint, enlivened by a good grip of acidity, finishing bone dry. A sophisticated and terroir-driven Chardonnay distinct from the commonplace California fruit and oak-driven style. Tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was fresh, crisp and taut. Burgundy nuts will go ga-ga over this wine. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Rhys Vineyards Home Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. A field blend of .25 acres planted to 5’ x 6’ on decomposed sandstone. Yields of 2.5 tons per acre. Aged in 100% new French oak barrels. · Deep, dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very ripe fruit aromas of black cherries, raisins, grilled fruit, leather and exotic spices. Moderately dense and thick dark berry and black cherry fruit with an earthy undertone and a hint of anise, all wrapped in restrained, firm tannins. Big-boned but soft on the palate, becoming smoother and more delightful with time in the glass. Very good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Most of the wine’s “clones” are heritage selections such as Calera, Hyde, Swan, Wente (a total of 16 different clones). · Still a baby with plenty of tannins to shed, but the fruit core is strikingly pure and satisfying. Richly layered, sturdy on the palate, and possessing a suave texture. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Alesia Chileno Valley Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $29. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, red punch, green oak and underbrush. Slightly sweet cherry and strawberry flavors with hi-tone acidity and oak in the background. Drink up. Decent. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Alesia San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $29. Made from declassified wine from Family Farm Vineyard. · Lovely aromas of crushed cherries, spice, herbs with a roseate lift. Sweet cherries and raspberries are kissed by earth and savory herbs. Light in weight with a soft mouthfeel and very soft tannins. A perfect wine for daily drinking now. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Alesia San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $29. Declassified fruit from the Family Farm Vineyard. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Slightly cooked cherry aromas with notes of polished wood, spice and cut flowers. Crisp and bright, with delicate and tasty strawberry and black cherry flavors with a sidecar of anise and toast. Silky with bright acidity and a thin, short finish. Drink up. Decent. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Alesia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $35. · A well-endowed wine with upfront aromas and flavors of rich dark fruits including plum blackberry and cassis with supporting toasty oak. A fruit-driven wine with soft tannins and almost liquor-like dense fruit. Good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Alesia Green Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $44. Primarily from the 2-acre Layton Family Vineyard organically managed and planted to heritage clones. · Decent aromatic profile of red berry jam, oak, herbs and a hint of mint. Bright red cherry and cranberry flavors with a touch of oak and herbs, moderate tannins, crisp acidity all brought together in an elegant fashion. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Hillside Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $49. Sourced from the steepest and lowest yielding section of Alpine Vineyard (see photo above). · Deeply colored. Muted aromas of dark fruits with a very appealing hint of exotic spices. Luscious broad-shouldered fruit core with impressive intensity, backed by firm tannins and offering an amazing persistence on the glorious finish. Similar in flavor to the regular Alpine Vineyard bottling but ramped up a notch. Drinking great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An impressive effort that should continue to evolve in years to come. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Rhys Vineyards Alpine Road Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $49. · Deep reddish-purple color and a deeply charmed wine. Taunting aroma of black raspberry jam. Delicious compote of brambly dark and blue berries that is mouth filling, yet majestically toned. There were other flavors that defied description. The tannins were mild, dry and fine-grained, there was notable absence of oak, and the wine had impeccable balance. Still drank beautifully the next day from an opened, re-corked bottle. This is a wine that stirs emotion. Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Rhys Vineyards Home Vineyard San Mateo County Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $59. · Marvelous Pinot scents of dark red cherries, roses and a touch of butterscotch. Highly unique flavors of exotically spiced dark red stone fruits and fraise de bois with a complimentary hint of oak. A wine of great finesse, very smooth in texture, with gossamer dry tannins and a lengthy, scented aftertaste. Still drank beautifully the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle (I polished it off). Reviewed February 25, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Alesia Chileno Valley Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $58. · Aromas of strawberry, juniper berry and sandalwood are appealing, but a woody and herbal greenness overwhelms the fruit. Like sucking on a wood branch. The green flavors could resolve to some degree with bottle age. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Alesia Falstaff Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $62. Ron and Judy Loughred farm this vineyard on the extreme Sonoma Coast. This is the second label of Rhys vineyards and features several bottlings from purchased fruit. · Dark violet-red in color. Aromas start off with barnyard and diaper and evolve to cherry, root beer, hay and oak. Woody, earthy, and meaty at heart. With air, the flavors evolve with more black cherry charm. Tannins are well-integrated and the texture is reasonably soft. The finish is a touch sour. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Alesia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $39. Two bottles sampled - the two were completely different. · One bottle showed nice black raspberry, tobacco smoke and oak char scents with a healthy fruit core of blackberries, raspberries and a hint of herbs and wood. Silky in texture and clean on the finish. The second bottle showed a similar aromatic profile but oak char dominated the flavors and the finish was sour and unpleasant. Oh, the trials and tribulations of tasting wine. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »