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2008 Rhys - Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
  • 94 WA
  • 93 IWC
  • Variety
    Pinot Noir
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SKU: 309284-2008-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93

    ($59; 12.8% alcohol) 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.
    Author: Josh Raynolds
    Issue: May/June 2010
  • Burghound | Rating: 95

    An exceptionally densely fruited nose that is intensely floral and nuanced with stone, spice and soft earth hints complements to perfection the impressively concentrated medium weight plus flavors that brim with dry extract such that the very firm tannins are rendered almost invisible at present though I suspect that they will become more visible as the baby fat recedes. This broad-scaled effort should age for up to a decade and last several more. Magnificent.
    Drink Dates: 2016+
    Author: Allen Meadows
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 94

    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.
    Drink Dates: 2012-2032
    Author: Robert Parker
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  • 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

    • 461 bottles owned
    • 118 collectors