Tasting notes: Another beautiful Pinot Noir that is showing the benefits of patience. This wine is now right in the middle of its drinking window and is absolutely beautiful. Much of the youthful power has subsided and what remains is elegant, sophisticated and complex. Blood orange and tart cherry flavors mingle with spice and dusty earth notes. There’s a saline component to the minerality that cuts through everything. Tremendous wine.
Producer: Rhys Vineyards aspires to make great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from some of California’s most unique and expressive vineyards. This pursuit has led them to search the state for exciting rocky soils that exist within the mountainous, cool, Coastal climate zone. Over the last 15 years they have developed seven estate vineyards, six in the Santa Cruz Mountains and one in Anderson Valley, each of which is capable of producing uniquely compelling, distinctive, soil driven wine.Their overriding belief that unique vineyard expression is the key to truly great wine leads them to an approach that includes: 1. A relentless, spare-no-expense, focus on producing the best possible fruit in the vineyard; 2. Carefully selected cool weather sites that offer interesting and expressive soil character; 3. Natural winemaking with minimal intervention. These core tenets help produce age-worthy wines that emphasize vineyard expression, balance, fresh fruit, and concentration.
Vineyard and Winemaking: From its steep and rocky perch, Alpine Vineyard gazes at the Pacific Ocean 10 miles in the distance. The chalky Purisima Formation soils are shallow and rocky while the slopes can range up to 40%. The altitude and proximity to the ocean contribute to a very cool climate, but unlike most of California’s cool and foggy sites Alpine has little wind.Alpine is divided into ½ acre blocks with tightly planted 6′ by 4′ rows. These blocks contain 16 different selections of Pinot Noir and 4 different selections of Chardonnay. Most of these are of low-yielding “Heritage” or “Suitcase” selections such as Calera, Swan, La Tache, Hyde and Wente.
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