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

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$98.00USD

Pop and pour, this is still youthful and needs a bit of air.  Deep ruby with some ruby swirls.  The nose has cherries, strawberries, spice and a slight char to it.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Nice cherry fruit with just a hint of candied cherries over a mineral/earthiness.  Light tannins.  This is young and will continue to mature.  It drinks grat on its own now but another few years and it might still improve.  Either way, it has at least ten to fifteen more years at the top.  This will work well with roasted fowl, pasta or casseroles.  

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

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

Consumed with friends at their home in Napa.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is classic Rhys.  Vanilla, lemon cream and this time a slight herbal note (in a good way).  Nice acidity.  Complex and deep.  This wine has entered into a very early maturity and is showing some development.  It is also delicious.  Long finish.  This should continue to develop for the  next five years and be good for at least ten more after that.  Further upside is likely.  It goes well with seafood, fowl and grain based dishes.  

2014 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

Holy smokes.  I love this wine, but this was the best showing for it yet.  Light golden/green in color.  Lemon cream, vanilla and slight smoke on the nose.  On the palate, this has a slightly oily texture which is great.  Crisp acidity.  The lemon and vanilla come thru over a slight charred wood quality.  Deep and complex, this is the most developed bottle I have had although certainly not old.  Layers of fruit, wood and char.  Long finish.  Went great with roasted Shihitto peppers.  If this is a glimpse where this is heading then patience will be rewarded but no harm in opening now.  

2012 Ridge Monte Bello, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

One of the great wines of the world.  This was tasted right after a huge Aussie Shiraz and it took a sip or two to re-calibrate, but once that was accomplished, this wines class shown thru.  Still a young wine, this has a long future ahead.  A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cedar, an herbal note (in a good way), spice and slight forest floor.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Full bodied but by no means brawny or a fruit bomb.  Nice purity of cassis fruit over some roas

2014 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This, while still young, has entered an adolescence that is very enjoyable.  Light gold/green in color.  The nose has the typical Rhys Lemon Cream and vanilla.  On the palate, this is starting to delineate layers and show nice complexity.  The lemon cream and vanilla carry thru along with underlying minerality.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This took a few hours on opening to really open up so it is probably worth decanting at this point.  It should easily go another decade probably until 2034.  Great on it own.  It will work with richer dishes with fish, veggies and some fowl.  

2012 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Rhys is one of my favorite wines and this particular bottle was opened at a dinner alongside an Aubert and a Marcassin from the same vintage.  It was interesting for a few reasons.  It really demonstrated the "Burgundyness" of the Rhys wines.  It also showed that Rhys can hold its own against the best Chardonnays California produces.  It has a silvery green/gold color.  The nose has nice lemon cream and vanilla with underlying minerality.  Great mouthfeel and texture.  On the palate, the lemon cream with a touch of vanilla comes thru.  With air some green apple notes emerge.  Great balance.

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.  

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