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

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$83.00USD

My favorite Chardonnay producer (not my favorite vineyard) but the house style is unmistakable.  Light golden in color.  The nose has a lovely lemon vanilla creme quality to it with nice minerality.  This vineyard also seems to have a slight pine quality which while good is a bit harder to match with food.  Nice balance.  Good acidity.  The palate has the same flavors with the vanilla less in the foreground and the minerals more prominent.  This bottle was paired with Japanese foods and it worked very well.  

2009 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This bottle is doing well and while not quite up to the level of a bottle a couple years ago, that seems more bottle variation or just a different day.  Purple in color.  The nose is deep with cassis, and spice.  Perhaps a bit more air would have allowed the wine to open more.  On the palate, this has a nice energy.  Cassis, a roasted herbal note and slight tannins.  Worked well with food.  This still seems like it easily could coast for another decade.  A nice way to get a great Cab in the house style without paying for the Monte Bello.  

2012 Ridge Chardonnay Estate, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Whether you like this wine comes down to style.  It is well made in the "classic" new world style with rich, opulent tropical fruit, butter and oak.  It does seem to be a bit past its prime so drinking sooner than later is called for.  Golden in color.  The nose has butterscotch, spice, mango and butter.  On the palate, this has a voluptuous texture.  Decent acidity certainly helps it work with food.  The buttery and spice notes are predominant on the palate but there is some tropical fruit quality.  This is not my preferred style of Chardonnay but it is certainly better than many in the ca

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Since these wines first came out, it has always been an open question how well they would age.  At age 11, this one is doing great.  Drinking quite young but quite well.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is great with cherries, slight spice, black cherries, and very slight cola note.  On the palate, this is young but delicious.  Shows depth but tight.  Plenty of cherries and black cherry fruit.  Great balance.  Drink now or should hold for another ten or fifteen years, depending what you like in a Pinot.  Will work with a wide variety of food.  

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. 

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