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

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

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

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

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

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.  

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

Another stunning Chardonnay from Rhys.  Light golden in color with some green hues.  The nose has a vanilla scented lemon chiffon that is distinctive for Rhys.  Gorgeous.  There is also an underlying mineral component.  It is understandable why so many compare this to Meursault.  On the palate, this is still young but almost seamless.  The vanilla/lemon chiffon carries thru as does the minerality.  Great balance.  This would work with a wide variety of foods.  Its tht texture though that keeps being so striking.  Long finish.  There is some upside on this depending on how you like Chardonna

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Swan Terrace, USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains, Wine Review

Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has cherries, spice, sour cherries, slight vanilla, and cranberries.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Sour cherries, slight vanilla, cherries and slight spice.  Slight tannins.  Long finish with a cherry/anise candy quality.  This still seems a bit shy of maturity and there may be some upside.  It has a full bodied wonderful texture that show sunshine without being a fruit bomb.  Long finish.