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Rhys Vineyards San Mateo County Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • RP94
  • WS90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 94
Robert Parker's 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
WS 90
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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Rhys Vineyards

Rhys Vineyards

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Rhys Vineyards, , California
Rhys Vineyards
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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

GUS122639_2010 Item# 122639

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