2009 Rhys Chardonnay

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SAN FRANCISCO BAY
  • 90 WA
  • 90 WS
  • 91 IWC
  • Variety
    Chardonnay

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SKU: 181036-2009-750

This item is available by the case only

Total:
$50.00

This is a final sale item

Not eligible for cancellations or refunds

  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 90

    A graceful, subtle and juicy style, with aromas of white flowers, ripe peach, honeysuckle and melon. Medium-weight, delicate and persistent. Drink now through 2019.
    Drink Dates: 2013-2019
    Author: James Laube
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 91

    Light yellow-gold. Leesy, spice-accented aromas of orange, poached pear and iodine, with notes of chamomile and honeysuckle adding complexity. Sappy, chewy orchard fruit and pineapple flavors are braced by tangy acidity, picking up a smoky quality with air. Lush and creamy but also firm, with very good finishing cut and focus. This wine's balance and energy are impressive.
    Author: Josh Raynolds
    Issue: May/June 2011
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

    The 2009 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains is made from declassified barrels from the Horseshoe and Alpine vineyards. It is a round, textured wine endowed with gorgeous aromatic complexity and fine balance. This is a rather soft, seamless style that emphasizes the accessibility of the fruit over the more prominent minerality that is found in some of the estate's other wines.
    Drink Dates: 2012-2019
    Author: Antonio Galloni
  • Self | Rating: 88

    A bit fat. I'm tasting butterscotch with a a dash of lemon. The high acidity keeps the wine interesting as I make my way through the bottle, but otherwise this wine seems fairly pedestrian for California chardonnay.
    Author: dutodd
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Really nice - lemon, mineral, oily waxiness. Nice drinker.
    Author: Patrick
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.

Chardonnay is a versatile variety that can grow in a wide range of climates, and its neutral flavor profile offers a blank canvas for winemakers to impart their style. In cool climates, Chardonnay displays flavors of green fruit and citrus. As the climate becomes more moderate, flavors of white peach and melon develop. In warm and hot climates, aromas of banana, pineapple, and other tropical fruit are common.

The best Old-World Chardonnay comes from Burgundy, where it is uniquely reflective of terroir and can express many different flavor profiles even within this relatively small region. In Chablis, the northernmost part of Burgundy, wines are often unoaked and known for their minerality, high acidity, and aromas of green apple, citrus, wet stone, and slate. In the Côte de Beaune, further south, wines are typically aged in neutral French oak and have flavors of stone fruit, toast, almond, and cream. Burgundian producers pioneered the techniques that are now associated with high-quality Chardonnay around the world, including barrel fermentation, barrel ageing, malolactic fermentation, and maturation on lees. The best wines, from producers like Domaine Leflaive, Bouchard Père & Fils, and Domaine William Fèvre, can age in the bottle for a decade or more, developing complex aromas of nuts and mushroom.

New-World Chardonnay tends to grow in warmer climates than in the Old World, producing wines that are full-bodied, high in alcohol, and low in acidity. Use of American oak imparts flavors of vanilla, clove, hazelnut, butter, and caramel on top of peach and banana fruit. Look to Californian producers in Napa and Sonoma, including Kistler, Peter Michael, and Aubert, for the highest-quality versions of this New-World style.

Chardonnay’s versatility makes it a great option for pairing. High-acid wines from Chablis are the perfect accompaniment to oysters or clams, while oak-forward Napa wines are the best match for buttery lobster. Halibut, cod, and chicken breast are classic pairings with white Burgundy. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 106 bottles owned
  • 43 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 90
    (Out of 43 collectors)