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2012 Rhys - Pinot Noir Swan Terrace

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
  • 96 WA
  • 93 IWC
  • Variety
    Pinot Noir
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SKU: 251375-2012-750-2B
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93

    Dark red and plum notes meld into spice and floral notes in the 2012 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace. One of the more supple, accessible wines in the range, the 2012 is pure sensuality in the glass. The 100% whole clusters are practically buried by the intensity and radiance of the fruit. This is the only 2012 at Rhys that showed better from barrel than it does today from bottle. - Antonio Galloni
    Drink Dates: 2016-2024
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 95

    From a steep slope located between 1,210 and 1,300 feet above sea level, the 2012 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace shows lots of whole-cluster influence in its ground pepper, black cherry, wood smoke and forest floor/autumn leaf-driven personality. Hitting the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, bright acidity and plenty of concentration and tannic grip, this is a serious, structured and Burgundian Pinot Noir from this team that has the depth and class to evolve nicely for another decade or more.
    Drink Dates: 2015-2027
    Author: Jeb Dunnuck
  • Burghound | Rating: 93

    This is perhaps the most aromatically reserved wine in the range with mostly floral aromas of tea, black raspberry and subtle anise nuances. There is good volume and concentration to the muscular yet relatively refined medium-bodied flavors that possess plenty of dry extract that coats the palate on the dusty, intense and hugely long finish. This is arguably the biggest and most powerful though not the most elegant wine in the range that will also need plenty of patience.
    Drink Dates: 2022+
    Author: Allen Meadows
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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

    • 97 bottles owned
    • 43 collectors