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Rhys Vineyards San Mateo County Pinot Noir 2012

  • RP91
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Rhys' San Mateo County Pinot Noir is a blend of fruit from their top sites in the area. In 2012, the wine is 60% FamilyFarm Vineyard, 30% Horseshoe, and 10% Alpine Vineyard. The mountain fruit from Horseshoe and Alpine give this wine its backbone, acidity, and spicy undertones, while the Family Farm fruit lends the wine its charming, bright and approachable profile. As with all of Rhys' wines, winemaking is based on a hands-off, gravity-focused approach. Fermentation with native yeasts is followed by aging in high quality, tightly-grained new French oak. The wine is neverpumped, fined, or filtered.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 60% Family Farm, 30% Horseshoe and 10% Alpine Vineyard, the 2012 Pinot Noir San Mateo County offers lots of peppery herbs, kirsch, spice-box, cola and dried earth to go with a fleshy, forward, textured and impeccably balanced feel on the palate. While this doesn't have the vibrant cut of the other single vineyards, it has plenty of fruit, a full, nicely layered and textured mid-palate, and no shortage of tannin, all suggesting it will evolve nicely going forward. Drink it over the coming 5-7 years.
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Rhys Vineyards

Rhys Vineyards

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Rhys Vineyards, California
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At Rhys Vineyards we aspire to make great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from some of California’s most unique and expressive vineyards. This pursuit has led us to search the state for exciting rocky soils that exist within the mountainous, cool, Coastal climate zone. Over the last 15 years we 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.

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

RSN137656_2012 Item# 137656

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