2015 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$133.00USD

Another spectacular Chardonnay from Rhys.  This is probably my favorite bottling.  Opened to celebrate a friend's 40th and finished the rest on the following night.  It was great both nights but a bit better on night 2.  Light golden in color.  The nose is sensational.  Yes, there is some oak showing but the nose is so pretty and enticing with lemon cream and vanilla.  On the palate, this has a slightly soft texture, with great lemon fruit.  Some vanilla as well.  Great acidity.  Plenty of depth.  Long finish.  This is not a fruit bomb but it does have a big personality.  It will go with al

2014 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$115.00USD

Rhys Chardonnay's are some of the best anywhere.  Some say they have a Burgundian quality to them, and that may be true, but they are also clearly from California.  Sunshine and ripeness.  This one was gorgeous.  Light golden in color.  The nose has a great minerality with nice minerals and lemon cream.  On the palate, it is delicious but lean.  Great acidity.  Nice lemony notes.  Long finish.  Sometimes these wines can shut down after a few years, so this should be drunk soon, or put it away for another five years or more.  

2016 Rhys Alesia Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

From a 375ml bottle.  Rhys makes some of the best Chards in California, but this is from purchased fruit and so carries the Alesia name.  It does seem like the oak treatment is different as well.  This is a sold Chardonnay but not nearly in the class of the Rhys Chards.  Light gold/green in color.  The nose is nice with minerals, spice, slight lemons and slight lumber.  On the palate, the minerals and lumber carry thru.  Some lemon.  Lean in body with good acidity.  This will work with a lots of foods.  

2016 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$124.97USD

Wow.  Rhys hits another home run with this Chardonnay.  Light golden in color.  The nose is great with lemon cream and vanilla.  The palate matches.  Smooth and almost seamless.  Depth and complexity.  So good right now that it would be a shame not to drink one this young.  Based on past history, this is likely to shut down for a bit and not emerge for 7 or so years.  So, if you don't like older Chards or can't wait, then just enjoy now!  Will work with medium or lighter weight foods.  

2008 Rhys Syrah Skyline Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This wine is a testament to the many different profiles of Syrah.  For the most part this drinks cooler climate, but then boom, a bit of warm California sunshine peeks out.  Purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, char and black pepper.  With air some leather and black olives come out.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.  Good structure.  Seems to be drinking very well now and close-ish to peak.  Easily another decade left.  Light tannins.  Boysenberries over minerals.  But then a bit grilled meats too.  Nice acidity.  Nice finish.  Rhys is a producer more know for its Pinot Noir

2016 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

From a 375ml bottle.  What a great size for a couple of glasses of white wine before moving on to reds.  More wineries should produce these and also 500ml.  Green gold in color.  This is young but already showing a lot.  The nose has vanilla and lemon curd.  On the palate, great acidity.  The lemon curd is strong with lighter vanilla notes.  Lovely texture.  Long finish.  This wine is very food friendly but also will drink well on its own.  It should improve over the next few years. 

1990 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Jimsomare, USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains

Vintage: 
1990
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

What a treat.  At age 28, this wine is excellent.  Fully mature of course, but it would be hard to call this past prime, although in fact it is.  More like it just depends on what you like.  It has that older Bordeaux quality but also some sunshine that many older Cal Cabs can get.  Ruby purple in color, a bit flat.  The nose has cassis, dust, slight dried fruit, damp earth and cigar box notes.  On the palate, this has a layered complexity.  Cassis and dried fruits layered with earth and tobacco.  Slightly dusty.  Nice balance and finish.  This would go with a wide variety of medium and hea

2011 Ridge Monte Bello, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Monte Bello is one of the great wines of California.  87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc.  Though 2011 was a difficult vintage in most of California, Ridge hit a home run (again) with Monte Bello.  It might be drinking a bit earlier than other vintages, but it is a fantastic wine.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cigar box, plums and char.  Very nice.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture that is lush and full bodied but not over the top.  Plenty of cassis and plum fruit with underlying earthiness and slight char.  Good finish.  Works with medium and heav

2013 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

This was very tight at first.  Probably should have decanted for an hour.  After a bit, it opened and was excellent.  Yellow/gold in color.  The nose is vanilla/lemon cream.  Although "Burgundian" certainly could be used, it is a pretty consistent nose from this vineyard.  On the palate, this has a creamy texture.  Nice lemon cream with a touch of vanilla and an underlying minerality.

2011 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A+

Golden in color.  The nose is classic Rhys and gorgeous.  Lemon cream and vanilla with an underlying rocky minerality.  On the palate, this is almost seamless in a creamy texture.  Lemon and vanilla notes.  Bright fruit.  It is not as big as some vintages but this is not reticent either.  Delicious.  Still youthful.  It opens in the glass and improves in the bottle.  So good right now it might not be worth risking holding, but it should still get better.  One of the best California Chardonnays I have had.  

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