An Epic Night of Rhys
Sun Wah BBQ, Chicago IL
Tasted July 18, 2014 by KeithAkers with 304 views
Jay Carroll hatched this brilliant idea for a tasting when he saw that there were other Rhys tasting threads in Wine Berserkers. Many of us agreed that this was a great idea, so a date was worked out and there were 11 of us that sat down to dig into 18 bottles of Rhys Chards and Pinots. To top things off, Kevin Harvey sent us 2 12s to sample along with everything else. That's what I call a major win!
Flight 1 - Starting Chard Flight (4 notes)
Taste: Full bodied with crisp medium/high acidity. The acidity is absolutely lip smacking and shows through with marshmallows, lemons, pears, red apples, and navel oranges.
Overall: This was served at room temperature and could've used a slight chill. Still, this was showing real class and depth. I would love to see where this goes with age as it feels like there is some baby fat that still needs to be shed.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium/high acidity. The structure is very youthful and the acidity is prominent. The feel is on the more nuanced side with white fruits, pears, red apples, navel oranges, rocky minerals, and white florals.
Overall: While this is very much on the young side, it is also a tremendous Chardonnay. This doesn't have the power of the 08, but instead there is a beautiful precision and nuanced side to this.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with tart medium/high acidity. There is a sharpness to the acidity that is a bit overpowering with red apples, pears, white fruits, and some papaya notes.
Overall: This is most certainly on the young side. There are some excellent raw materials here and it needs time to fully show itself.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium acidity. The feel shows a much richer side, but it isn't overdone or flabby with roasted marshmallows, vanilla beans, meyer lemons, and some white peaches.
Overall: It wasn't fair having this right after a vertical of Alpine Chards. I did decant this for most of the afternoon to make sure air wouldn't be a problem. While I would like to know where this will go with time, this was my last bottle. It's still a very good Chardonnay, but it did suffer with the company.
Flight 2 - Alpine Pinot Vertical (5 notes)
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and silky tannins. There is very good structure to the wine with rhubarb, red cherries, roses, baking spices, dark red florals, and earth tones. While there is excellent complexity, this did thin out quickly on the mid-palate and finish.
Overall: This was given an afternoon in the decanter. The nose and complexity on the palate offer up a lot, so, hopefully my next bottles show more flesh on the mid-palate and finish.
Taste: Medium bodied with medium/high acidity and noticeable tannins. The structure shows The feel leans more towards elegance with red fruits, fresh picked berries, currants, roses, and mineral tones.
Overall: This is a very young and elegant pinot. This needs time to allow itself to be as good as it can be. I would love to try this again in another 5 years.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium/high acidity and silky, but noticeable tannins. The feel is polished and gorgeous with dark red fruits, rhubarb, wild flowers, spices, and raspberries.
Overall: This is a stunning young pinot. There is much room to grow, but also a ton here already. Given where it's at right now, I can only imagine where it will go from here.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and chewy tannins. The structure is really showing itself in this nascent stage along with baking spices, red fruits, red cherries, berries, chalky notes, and some earth tones.
Overall: This isn't ready for primetime right now. There is a ton to like and this has all of it.
Flight 3 - Bearwallow Pinot Vertical (4 notes)
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium/high acidity and youthful tannins. The structure certainly shows off the youth along with tart red cherries, spice tones, red florals, fresh picked berries, and some hints of earth creeping in on the back end.
Overall: This was a stunning young wine. I can't wait to see where this goes with age as there is a ton of complexity and depth that is there right now.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and silky tannins. The structure was on the sneakier side as the tannins and acidity seemed to emerge later on. The feel was polished and silky with dark red fruits, spice tones, dark red cherries, and earth tones.
Overall: The sappiness on the nose didn't follow through on the palate. This needs about 5 years to fully rev up as there feels like a lot of baby fat that needs to be shed.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and good tannins. The structure is pretty imposing right now with red fruits, fresh picked berries, currants, red cherries, and spice tones poking through underneath.
Overall: This isn't even close to ready for primetime. The stuffing is really good, it will just take a good while to fully show itself.
Flight 4 - Horseshoe intermezo (1 note)
Taste: Full bodied with medium/high acidity and sneaky tannins. The structure is still quite youthful with currants, berries, licorice, red cherries, earth tones, and some hints of mineral tones.
Overall: While this is drinking very well right now, it feels like that this can give some more with age. This made me take notice and had a real style of its own.
Flight 5 - Family Farm Vertical (4 notes)
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and silky tannins. The structure lets itself be known, but it melds with the gorgeous tones of tart red fruits, red cherries, licorice, red florals, chalky tones, and minerals.
Overall: This is a real stunner. It's still very young, but ever so gorgeous right now. This really roared from the outset and showed a lot of class and poise.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and silky tannins. There is a plushness to the feel, but with real polish and poise to the tones of licorice, red berries, spices, roses, and red fruits.
Overall: This is a gorgeous Pinot. It's can certainly age, but I wouldn't really fault someone for opening a bottle up if they have multiples.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with crisp medium+ acidity and silky tannins. The structure is a little deceiving as it sneaks up on you on the end. There is a lot of polish and class with rhubarb, currants, baking spices, earth tones, cherries, and some whole cluster stems.
Overall: This is most certainly a young wine. I would love to see where this goes when the whole cluster influences integrate more. There is a lot of polish and poise to the wine with a real good core of fruit.
A major thank you to Jay Carroll for making this happen. The class of Rhys most certainly showed through on the night. While we sadly had 3 flawed bottles, there were still plenty of highlights to go around. At the same time, I wouldn't even remotely close to say that any of these wines are close to maturity. There is a ton to like now in many of them and a good ways to go as well.
This tasting made me very happy that I have a good amount of Rhys in my collection. While I haven't been able to buy the past couple of go arounds, I will certainly be a buyer when I can again. There is a reason that Rhys has gotten a lot of accolades, and this is a very positive look into why they have gotten the press they have.