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2008 Rhys - Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard (San Mateo County)

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SAN FRANCISCO BAY
  • 91 WA
  • 91 IWC
  • Variety
    Pinot Noir
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SKU: 173686-2008-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 91

    ($49) Vivid medium red. Fresh, complex nose melds musky raspberry, blood orange, smoky minerality, brown spices, mocha and underbrush. Firm, gripping and almost weightless but packed with red fruit flavors, picking up a bitter cherry pit quality with air. Finishes very long, sweet and perfumed, with fine-grained tannins and notes of singed orange and Asian spices. Pretty impressive and complex already.
    Author: Josh Raynolds
    Issue: May/June 2010
  • Burghound | Rating: 92

    An attractively layered and fresh ripe red berry fruit and overtly floral nose offers excellent complexity that continues onto the rich but elegantly rendered medium-bodied flavors that possess a seductive texture and perfect balance on the lingering finish. This should age extremely well as everything is in perfect proportion.
    Drink Dates: 2014+
    Author: Allen Meadows
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 91

    Under the Rhys label, the 2008 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard (600 cases) reveals a dark ruby color along with lots of pomegranate, red currant, and cherry notes, tart acids, medium to full body, a distinct stemminess (that no doubt comes from 100% whole clusters), and firm, hard tannins in the finish. This cuvee is clearly built for aging, and if my instincts are correct, it will evolve for 10-12 years.
    Drink Dates: 2010-2022
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 88

    1. Opened a bottle tonight in anticipation of the upcoming release. Mine came across a bit closed with the structure dominating the fruit. The balance and finish were terrific but I did not glean a ton of pleasure from this tonight. Left 4/5 bottle for tomorrow and will follow. IMO this is 5 years away from primetime. 2. Still not giving me much. Minimal nose. Lots of structure (stems?), a little fruit in the midpalate and an acidic finish that is a touch bitter. I don't mean for this to sound bad, it's not, but maybe this isn't my cup of tea? I have loved the Alesia bottlings. 3. Better for me...nose giving some floral and spice notes, subtle. Palate is fresh and in great balance with no signs of deterioration. Still not giving me much fruit. This would have been better with food, no doubt.
    Drink Dates: 2016-2020
    Author: MJM
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Medium-plus color. Pretty floral nose with red and black fruits. Well structured and balanced wine with medium-bodied flavors. Should continue to get better over next 4+ years.
    Drink Dates: 2015-2020
    Author: Todd W59
Chiseled deep into a Santa Cruz Mountain hillside with such vast and echoing chambers that it's lovingly termed "the rebel base," Rhys Vineyards and its visionary owner are on a mission. It all started for Kevin Harvey, a Silicon Valley software entrepreneur with a Burgundy obsession, in 1995 when he planted a small Pinot Noir vineyard in his backyard, and has transformed into a quest to uncover the mysteries of his un-glorified appellation's geography and achieve world-class Pinot Noir.

From his first garage wine, Harvey was struck with minerality that reminded him more of Burgundy than any domestic Pinot. So, using ambitious, biodynamic farming of tightly-spaced, high elevation, cool climate vineyards planted in specific sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains with shallow, rocky soils, preferably on hillsides, he set out to make the most mineral-driven, terroir-focused domestic Pinot. The results have garnered overwhelming praise from the entire spectrum of critical review. From Robert Parker to Allen Meadows, it's hard to find anyone who isn't impressed with this passionate operation producing perhaps the best New World Pinot anywhere.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned grape that is notoriously difficult to grow but unmatched in its ability to reflect its terroir. It is early-budding and early-ripening, and thus requires a cool climate. To achieve its best expression and maintain its delicate flavor profile, Pinot Noir demands great care in the vineyard, particular attention to yield management, and careful handling in the winery. Growers blessed with the patience, skill, and terroir to produce world-class Pinot Noir are greatly rewarded. Not only are these wines complex, age-worthy, and delicious, they also command some of the world’s highest prices.

Old-World Pinot Noir most famously hails from Burgundy, where it is the only red variety permitted in the region. Techniques such as whole-bunch fermentation and barrel ageing, now common amongst high-quality Pinot Noir producers around the world, were pioneered by Burgundian winemakers. Age-worthy Pinot Noir from Burgundy tends to be high in acid, display low to medium tannins, and have red fruit flavors in youth that evolve into complex flavors of earth, game, cola, and truffle with age. Some of the most famous producers include Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Comte de Vogüé, Domaine Leroy, and Domaine Armand Rousseau.

New-World Pinot Noir tends to grow in warmer climates and on newer vines than in the Old Word, producing wine that is more fruit-forward with flavors of red cherry, cranberry, and raspberry. The highest-quality wines come from moderate regions in California, particularly Sonoma and Carneros, and top producers include Marcassin, Kistler, and Kosta Browne.

High acidity, low tannin, and low alcohol make Pinot Noir a versatile wine to pair. Spiced duck, fatty fish, grilled chicken, spicy foods, and anything with mushroom are just a few classic examples.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 450 bottles owned
  • 91 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 90
    (Out of 91 collectors)