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2009 Rhys - Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / MENDOCINO
  • 92 WA
  • 84 WS
  • 93 IWC
  • Variety
    Pinot Noir
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SKU: 366568-2009-750-3A
  • Burghound | Rating: 93

    A ripe, spicy and quite densely fruited nose speaks of a pretty mix of both red and blue pinot fruit along with background hints of cassis. The restrained intense and strikingly well-detailed medium-bodied flavors possess an abundance of mouth coating extract that buffers the firm tannic spine on the impressively complex, long and exquisitely balanced finish.
    Author: Allen Meadows
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93

    Bright ruby. Intriguingly perfumed bouquet of strawberry and raspberry, along with a high-pitched blood orange note and a seductive floral quality. Shows an array of sweet red fruit and spice flavors and a zesty mineral nuance that adds sharpness and definition. The finish leaves suave floral and spicecake notes behind, along with emphatically juicy red fruits and a hint of cola.
    Author: Josh Raynolds
    Issue: May/June 2011
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 84

    Intense and chewy, with a rustic, tannic, stemmy edge and peppery scent. Very tight and closed, drying on the finish
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 92

    The 2009 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard offers up sweet red cherries, flowers, berries and mint in a relatively mid-weight, focused style for this winery. Clean, saline notes give the wine much of its energy and focus. It is a tight, inward wine in need of at least a few years of cellaring.
    Author: Antonio Galloni
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Author: Patrick
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Popped and poured; drank over 3 hours. Dark cherry red color; also some purple-red color remaining. Aromas of cherry and spice. Bright, ripe flavors of cherry with a bit of earth and spice. Upon first tasting this wine, my initial conclusion is that it needs more time! For me, this wine still has very primary aromas and flavors. A few more years in the bottle should layer on secondary dimensions. This wine has lots of material to work with, but currently is only showing a single dimension. While very good today, I think this wine becomes much more interesting in 2-3 years.
    Drink Dates: 2017-2020
    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

  • 294 bottles owned
  • 85 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 93
    (Out of 85 collectors)