Rhys San Mateo County Pinot Noir 2010
Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
The wildly popular San Mateo blend makes its return for the first time since 2006, and we feel that the 2010 version is even better. The barrels for this excellent blend were carefully selected from our Alpine, Horseshoe and Family Farm vineyards and display key characteristics from all three. The nose offers up components common to the wines of Family Farm, including floral and rose petal notes, forest floor and bright red fruit notes. The intense fruit, spice and texture of Alpine and Horseshoe drive the palate, where the dark red and black fruit lead to a spicy and mineral infused finish. We feel the San Mateo will drink well now and improve for many years.
The Wine Advocate - "The entry-level 2010 Pinot Noir (San Mateo County) is simply fabulous. Rich dark cherries, crushed flowers, mint and spices burst from the glass. This is a hugely delicious wine from Rhys. The 80% whole clusters are nicely balanced by the sheer depth of the fruit. This is a flat-out stunning wine from Rhys. In 2010, the San Mateo is the entry-level Pinot. The 2010 is bottled under San Mateo appellation, as it includes declassified fruit from a broader range of vineyards than the typical collection of sites from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Once again, an appellation-level Rhys Pinot shines. The 2010 San Mateo is without question the hidden gem in this lineup. I imagine it will also provide much more enjoyment earlier than the vineyard designates. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020"
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red. Dark cherry, rose and beetroot on the nose, with suave spicy lift. Dense and structured on entry, with bitter cherry and dark berry flavors energized by underlying minerality. Fine-grained tannins add shape and grip to the very long, sappy, focused finish. Showing a brooding side right now but this wine, which is made "with a lot of mountain fruit," according to Harvey, is very promising."
Wine Spectator - "An intensely floral and overtly spicy plum, violet and cassis-suffused nose introduces round, lush and utterly delicious medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent depth, all wrapped in a rounded finish that is supported by noticeable but well-integrated tannins as well as excellent persistence. This is really very good, particularly for an entry level wine in the context of the Rhys line-up. Lovely stuff that possesses enough dry extract that it could even be drunk now with pleasure if desired though I would recommend at least 30 minutes in a decanter first."
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The folks at Rhys Vineyards aspire to make great wines from unique and expressive vineyards. This pursuit has lead them to select five different sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. 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 ageworthy wines that emphasize vineyard expression, balance, fresh fruit, and concentration. View all Rhys Vineyards Wines
About Santa Cruz MountainsView a map of Santa Cruz Mountains wineries
The Santa Cruz Mountain appellation encompasses the land between Half Moon Bay in the north and Mount Madonna (just near Monterey) in the south. Producing wine since the early 1800's, some of these wineries have been around for quite some time, mingling their vineyard lands with the sprawling redwood forests.
Notable FactsEven though the climate can be challenging, and only 1500 acres are under vine, over 50 wineries still operate successfully – and produce successful wine. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay do well in this region, along with a few plots of Cabernet Sauvignon. Hills, valleys and forests generate multiple micro-climates, creating a diverse flavor among the wines.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.