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2013 Rhys - Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
  • 94 WA
  • Variety
    Chardonnay
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SKU: 402029-2013-750-3A
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 94

    My favorite of the latest release Chardonnays, the 2013 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard is a screaming effort that got a few wows in the notes. More ripe and rounded than the Alpine Vineyard (at the moment anyways, as Kevin commented that this cuvee continues to pick up more and more focus with bottle age), its light/medium gold color is followed by tons of ripe white peach and orchard fruits, toasted nuts, crushed rock and white flowers. Rounded, concentrated and rich on the palate, yet with vibrant underlying acidity that cuts through the finish, give it a year or two in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2025+.
    Author: Jeb Dunnuck
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  • 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

    • 385 bottles owned
    • 39 collectors