Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
The Wine Advocate - "From a large 17-acre vineyard, the stunning 2008 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard (450 cases) should turn out to be one of the top wines in this portfolio. Raspberry, blueberry, ripe cherry, allspice, herb, and spring flower aromas jump from the glass of this broad, deep, dark ruby/purple-tinged Pinot. Medium to full-bodied with zesty acidity, it does not reveal any stemmy/vegetal elements despite the fact that 100% whole clusters were used during the fermentation. With good acidity, a broad flavor profile, and firm tannins, it will benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring, and should keep for two decades thereafter.
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining ruby. Assertive, smoky aromas of musky cherry, Indian spices, cocoa powder, rose and licorice, plus a whiff of cured meat. Compellingly velvety and sweet on entry, then brilliantly vibrant and mineral-driven in the mid-palate, with an explosive floral pastille quality lifting the flavors of crushed dark berries and baking spices. The wine's pungent minerality lingers on the long, gently chewy finish. This plays Richebourg to the Swan Terrace's Romanee Saint-Vivant. The crop here was 0.7 tons per acre in 2008."
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.