• Home
  • 2011 Rhys - Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard (San Mateo County)

2011 Rhys - Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard (San Mateo County)

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SAN FRANCISCO BAY
  • 90 WA
  • 89 WS
  • 91 IWC
  • Variety
    Pinot Noir
See all wines from Rhys
See other vintages 2010 | 2008 | 2012 | 2009 |
In stock|Sold out

learn more about producers & collectors

SKU: 173686-2011
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 89

    Aromas of damp clay and wet earth join dried herb and savory dried berry notes in this taut, distinctive wine. The tannins are earth-laced and gritty, so this may be best after a few years in the cellar. Best after 2016.
    Drink Dates: 2016+
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

    Still showing its oak elevage, with some char and vanilla in its sweet cherry, old hearth, roasted herbs and licorice aromas and flavors, the 2011 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is medium-bodied, nicely textured and has notable acidity that comes through on the finish. This is one of the few wines from Kevin where the oak sticks out (it does integrate more with air), nevertheless, it's still outstanding and has lots to love. I suspect it will evolve nicely for another 5-7 years.
    Drink Dates: 2015-2022
    Author: Jeb Dunnuck
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 91

    The 2011 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is one of the wilder wines in this range of 2011 Pinots. Game, tar, licorice and dark fruits all take on an intensely mineral personality with distinct volcanic overtones reminiscent of Aglianico and Taurasi. The layered, exotic finish is compelling and full of character. - Antonio Galloni
    Drink Dates: 2015-2025
  • Burghound | Rating: 88

    This is completely different as there is plenty of wood toast and even a hint of tar that fights somewhat with the black raspberry and plum aromas. There is good vibrancy to the concentrated and extract-rich flavors that are overtly robust, all wrapped in a muscular finish where the tar character resurfaces. This is impressively scaled but awkward today as the style is not consistent with the other wines in the range.
    Drink Dates: 2019+
    Author: Allen Meadows
  • Self | Rating: 4

    Author: craigechols
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Best bottle yet
    Author: Patrick
  • Self | Rating: 92

    PnP. Drank over 3 hours. Medium-plus ruby color. Sweet, almost candied aromas of red fruits. Crunchy red fruits on the palate; very silky mouth-feel! Get better over next few years.
    Drink Dates: 2015-2022
    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

  • 110 bottles owned
  • 50 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 92
    (Out of 50 collectors)