Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Inspired by a love for Burgundy, proprietor Kevin Harvey has set his sights on making top-flight Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Pinots in particular are exceptional for their sheer personality, but I also think the wines could also prove to be some of the most long-lived Pinots from California because of their minerality and structure.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Pure, expressive red fruit and floral aromas are complicated by star anise, cinnamon and allspice, with a lively mineral undertone adding vivacity. Impressively precise in the mouth, offering sappy strawberry and raspberry flavors and an intensely spicy character. The finish features a note of candied flowers and hangs on with outstanding tenacity. Remarkably delineated and vibrant pinot noir."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard tends towards a dark red, almost black expression of wild cherries. It is an intensely coiled, powerful wine in need of a few years of cellaring. The mineral notes speak very clearly in this pointed, beautifully articulated Pinot. With time in the glass the wine’s inner perfume begins to emerge, but the best is years away. The chiseled, pure finish leaves a lasting impression. This is the most finely-knit, complete wine in the Rhys portfolio. "
Burghound.com - "Here the nose is similar to that of the Skyline but with more obvious spice notes that carry over to the exceptionally rich and large-scaled flavors that possess very firm and ripe tannins that coat the mouth yet are not aggressive or drying. This very serious effort is not as refined as the Skyline but it is just as complex and a lot more powerful."
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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.