The Brett monster got this one. Still has nice dark fruit, but the red fruit and spice are not there, and the Brett funk takes their spot at the table. Might be an interesting ringer in a Rhone tasting.
I can certainly see the "California Burgundy" moniker that this wine receives by some. There was nice pure California fruit buffered by a dose of stems and nice supporting acid. Reserved and youthful, I believe the wine will age very well and transform into something more complex. (90+?)
At first, nose was dominated by brett (although not enough to call it flawed), but the smell went completely away after 2-3 hours. After 2 hours: complex nose of cherries, mushrooms, red berries. Lovely palate with long finish and medium+ tannins.
Rhys Tasting With The Gang--Part 2 (My Place): We opened two bottles of this, as one of the guys brought a backup. I've not been a fan of this wine and last night again confirmed my same feeling. This wine just exhibits a level of barnyard that I don't care for. One bottle is showed much stronger, less so on the other and there was some talk that the latter bottle was TCA'd but I smell tested both bottles at the end of the night when I was cleaning up and they both had levels of that aromatic. There was fruit in the better bottle, showing black cherry, strawberry but then saddle.
Initially strong earthy aromas which others have pointed out as heavy brett. The slight brettiness blew off after 30 mins and opened up beautifully with nice complex smooth red fruits. Drinking well now
Fortunately, this bottle was reasonably clean, and not obviously compromised/spoiled by brett. Kudos to Rhys for its customer service around flawed bottles. As for the wine itself, it presents as medium-to-full bodied yet restrained, texturally smooth and elegant, and even a touch rustic with dark red fruit, spice, and earth notes. 13.4% alcohol.
Was nervous about the 2 bottles I got after seeing all the reviews but it seems I lucked out. The wine developed very nicely in the glass and after about 2-3 hours was really hitting well. Very complex nose that would fool me for a burgundy as it was earthy but surrounded by subtle fruit flavors like strawberry, raspberry, some minerality. Very smooth and soft on the palate, low acidity, not overly rich but picked up some weight in mid palate. This is a very nice wine and much more Burgundian in style compared to a lot of other CA pinots.
-- popped and poured -- -- tasted non-blind over approx. 3.5 hours --
NOSE: high-toned florals; pomegranate; a noticeable gamey quality.
BODY: dark ruby color of medium-shallow to medium depth; medium-light bodied.
TASTE: muted fruits; hint of stems; hint of very fine tannin; 13.4% alc. not noticeable; good acidity; moderate brett; nice little floral spiciness on the mid-palate; mostly red-fruited, but perhaps just barely ticking into the purple fruits spectrum; seems like good raw material here, but the brett is strong enough to be both distracting and unfortunate.
Disappointing. While a very nice Pinot, not nearly as interesting or complex as the 2010 Alpine Vineyard (which was stunning) we had alongside this. The Family Farm was almost muted, wondering if it may be in a closed stage right now? At 5 years I'd assume it should be tasting great. Alas, this was my only bottle...
Looks like I won the lottery with a bottle without any issues. It is a bit rustic but I am enjoying it. Somewhat restrained dark red fruit with great structure. Either I have a high tolerance for Brett or this bottle is unscathed.
Yup. a good bit of brett, but the bigger issue was that the wine had a plummy quality. This faded a bit as it got more air, but it was anything but elegant that I expect from Rhys. Direct purchase and cellared since then. Will try a different bottle
I guess I am lucky in that 2 for 2 don't have this brett issue. Nice solid Burgundian style Pinot. Not as complex as I wanted and seems young but needed to try again. Not great QPR but well made Pinot.
Despite critics rave reviews this producers wines continue to fall short of expectations. 2 hours of decanting may have been too much for this one to handle. Brooding color, lacking on the nose and palate with an almost syrah texture but with flat characteristics. Didn't stand a chance against similar vintage Neely produced on vineyard likely no more than 5 miles away as the crow flies. Definitely one of the weaker sibling wines from Rhys.
Decanted an hour before dinner and followed over two more. Dark berry fruit, mix of ripe and tart, layered with savory Indian spices. Maybe a touch darker and riper than my favorite Rhys Pinots but still delicious. Was looking for brett and didn't find it. I guess some of the savory, Indian spices could be brett but they could also be whole cluster influence.
One of my contributions that I brought to the Sun Wah Rhys tasting (along with 2008 Horseshoe PN). High levels of Brett masked what I sensed to be good fruit underneath. Was told that this bottling is known for having this problem. Brett detected by several tasters -- it was unmistakeable.
Was a bit disappointing that of 17 bottles at the tasting 3 had flaws (2 corked, 1 Brett). Not a great ratio, but sometimes these things happen.
Nose leads with barnyard and funk notes on top of black cherry fruit and more "hidden" herb notes. Palate has medium rich fruit and good structure ... but the funk is omnipresent. Tasted in a 7-10 Family Farm vertical, this is definitely the oddball with a barnyard/brett issue.
An Epic Night of Rhys (Sun Wah BBQ, Chicago IL): Simply put, this was brett riddled. There was some fruit to it underneath and maybe it would've been written off as a funky pinot on its own. But, within the vertical of Family Farms it stood out as a flaw.
Saw the brett notes but got little if any on this magnum. Smoky and earthy on the nose which got me really excited as an earthy nose is pretty much my go to in pinot. Unfortunately was lacking the depth to carry that, at least night one (saving a little just in case). Some fruit, some acid and a half decent finish, but again missing the depth that would've put it over the top. No sense of heat (mentioned by someone else) or tannins (pretty damned integrated if you ask me).
Day two added a bit of depth, but not enough to change the score.
PnP. Medium red. Restrained nose - upon vigorous swirling some red fruits, spice, and sandalwood. Full on the palate with lovely grapeiness; long soft finish. This really has changed over the last year. Drinking well now and no apparent tannins to resolve. Not a very complex wine but easy to drink.
Deep translucent burgundy at the core to a clear rim.
Powerful nose of wild flowers, dried mint, Chinese five spice, camphor and vanilla.
Silky palate with predominantly red fruits and some wild blackberries. Noticeable spiciness, oak tannins and a bitter note on the end palate that I attribute to whole cluster. Broad shouldered wine, very long with lovely texture. Would benefit from more time to come together.
Flaw. I'm 1/3 now good vs evil. The last bottle I had I detected no brett at all, this one is like the first, too bad, because as I know from bottle 2, there is a very nice wine underneath it all. I will say I've never run into issues with any other Rhys bottling and they take care of their customers.
Like it a lot. Different stylistically than what I normally drink. More balanced, and acidic. Did well with sushi. Wasn't floored however. Lot of hype. Will be intrigued to see how this ages. Subtle fruit.
Took to a restaurant and popped and poured. Good cork. Modest nose. No Brett in this bottle. Wanted to try this early because of all the posted notes of Brett issues. Soft,elegant, with raspberry and some black raspberry flavors. Hint of vanilla added, light on the acid. In balance.
Delicious. About 4 hours in the decanter helped it open up. Nose is restrained with cherries and damp earth. A little bretty but not a problem on this bottle. The palate is elegant and complex with layers of dark cherries. Great concentration and structure. Excellent finish. Long life ahead.
I'm sorry to say that I had a brett issue with this. I really was looking forward to enjoying this at a dinner party last night. Even my non-geek friends just took a couple of sips before moving on to other bottles that I had available.
This is showing some brett. Not overwhelming, but enough to deaden the wine on the nose, and give a bit of that drywall thing on the palate. Some deep fruit underneath it all, but it never gets a chance to truly shine. I was borderline on calling this flawed, but in the final analysis it's distracting enough to call it what it is.
Dark red color. Ripe cherry aromas with a hint of leather and some toasty vanilla. Palate is a nice mix of blackberry, black raspberry, black cherry, and cherry with some hints of smoke and leather in the background. The brett. on this bottle was less intrusive than past bottles and this is the second-least affected of the four I've consumed. Great when the brett. is in the background (or not there at all). Drink.
Some highly rated wines on a Saturday afternoon (Patrick's): Another chance to try this wine. I know there is some discussion about the Brett issues and when Dick mentioned that he had returned some, I guessed this must be the wine. Yes, there is some Brett, but not an issue with me or most of us at the table. Ruby in color. The nose is cherries with slight barn yard notes. Cherries and dark cherries on the palate. Nice finish. Still quite young and just starting to develop layers.
Wines at Chris and Renee's home. (Chris and Renee's): This bottle had been open for a while. The nose is nice, cherries, dark cherries. A bit tight on the palate, but showing layered complexity. No signs of brett or other flaws. Good fruit. I would hold these at this point.
13.4% ABV. Translucent ruby garnet in the glass. Light red fruit nose with a touch of brett, earth, and stems. Somewhat feminine, but with some underlying structure. Pretty good. Better with more time I suspect.
Enjoyed this more this time around, probably due to the additional bottle age. Ripe cherry and blackberry fruit on the nose with candied violets, baking spices, and a slight hint of Brett that is not dominating at all, but rather adds a nice, earthy complexity. Soft and rich on the palate, with baked raspberry and subtle, sweet spices. Not very long on the finish.
My 2nd bottle. The 1st showed a touch of brett that actually added to the flavor profile. This bottle was too much brett as it overwhelmed any other flavors. Batting .500 with 2 750's and a mag still to go. Definitely a bummer, but no worries as Rhys customer service is world class. Since brett only gets worse with time I'll be consuming the remainder sooner than later.
Dark red color with limited transparency. Slight hint of brett on the nose in the form of leather and smoke. Red berry notes join to provide a fruit component to the nose. The palate has the red fruit and brett notes in sufficient balance to keep this enjoyable. While not yet past the point of enjoyment for me, heading that way. Drink up.
Wine, Browns and my 55th Birthday (My Home): Beth brought this and was thinking that her bottles of this had been off. For some reason, I don't seem to own any of this (all the other vintages though). Not sure why. Anyway, I thought it was a very nice wine. I found no flaws in it. The nose is earthy, not huge with nice cherries and some macerated cherries. On the palate, it is young and tight but has a nice earthiness. Good cherry fruit. Beth drink a lot of Rhys, but seemed to feel this was a bit more earthy and funky than most. As it was my first time with this vintage, I am curious, but as I say, I thought it was outstanding.
13.4% alcohol. There is a touch of brett that manifests itself as barnyard/horse and leather notes, evident more so on the palate than on the nose. With that said, there is enough complexity and interest from the red cherry, pine/mint, floral, and spice aromas and flavors to keep the brett from distracting or detracting from the overall experience. Decidedly moderately proportioned, supple, silky textured, open knit, red fruited, and certainly oriented towards elegance rather than power.
Plenty of red fruit and spice on the nose, really thought this was clean. Not so on the palate but what a show regardless. There is red fruit and some horse and leather that very elegantly compliments the herbs and earth. Still perfumed and light it shows great elegance with fresh berries in the background. With air it becomes savory, with berries, and a bacon finish with food. There is definitely a touch of brett to this compared to my previous tastes but it integrates so well and provides a food experience that is complimentary. It's like a great slightly tainted Rhone blend but with some beautiful pinot noir sensibility. This was a great bottle because the wine is spectacular and not even a small flaw could mask it.
Dark red color with limited transparency. Aromas of cherry, roses, violets, blackberry, and a hint of briar. Palate has a hint of brett in the form of leather and smoked meat, but it isn't enough to detract from the blackberry, cherry, and floral fruit notes that carry into a medium-long finish. Opens with an additional day of air on the leftovers placed back into the cellar. This was not as clean as the first bottle sampled, but still enjoyable. Drink or hold, depending upon your tolerance for brett.
My experience with Rhys has been a bit hit and miss, but this was a very good bottle. No cola, no gloppiness, not green from the stems. Instead, quite a lot of ripe berry fruit that reminds me most of sweet black raspberries, with good balancing acidity. The stems add spice and a twiggy earthiness that gives the wine more complexity. The extraction is gentle but the wine still has a fair amount of density, although there's not much structure. The lack of structure suggests this may not be a long ager, but it's quite good right now.
Popped because of all the brett talk. Clean as a whistle. Bright and sweet red fruit, pluot, baking spices, and a little earth. Paired well with round steak off the Traeger with a tarragon bernaise sauce. Loved the tarragon interaction with the wine, brought out a citrus note.
decanted 1 hour, consumed at central kitchen. really opening up compared to previous bottles. rich, spice-laden berry fruit with mint, herbs, and black pepper on the nose. the palate shows intense fruit, peppery spice, and anise with elegant structure and nice lift. this seems to just be starting to show what it's capable of. a treat now, can't wait to see where it's headed.
Beautiful and perfectly clean. The fruit is showing off at this point, but there is plenty of structure. Decanting really helped get a read on this bottle, which was very, very compelling. Moderate complexity, but the weight, texture, and aromatics are the real thing.
As others note, I wanted to taste to scratch the itch of my anxiety over the reports of brett in some bottles, and I may have imagined initial reduction upon opening that blew off. I double decanted and put back sidewise for 6 hours. Pretty dark cherry fruit on the nose, with silky cherry juice backed by smooth tannins and a little spice on the palate. I left a glass for two days, but too much air for that little of wine.
Popped and poured; given the comments on Brett, thought it worth opening a bottle. Nose is clean with intense cherry scent; medium red in color. On the palate echoes the cherries but with a bit of angular tannins; this smoothes and integrates over time into something with more black fruits and excellent texture and finish. Will be great.
my god this was a proxy for organic fertilizer, gave this over 5 hrs in a decanter tasting periodically and the barnyard smell and taste never left, the taste was dark fruit surrounded by barnyard. I have read about this on WB and give the Rhys team loads of credit for admitting the issue and offering a refund (class act), while so many other wineries ignore production issues that adversely affect their wines. I will definitely take Rhys up on the offer to return my remaining 5 bottles.
nose - mostly toast, with some brambleberry mouth - powerful yet restrained dark berry and dark cherry fruit, which is more appreciable on the finish than the attack. overall very clean, good minerality. has a sort of iron fist in a velvet glove feeling. impressive wine.
Dark red color, nearly opaque. Aromas of sweet cherry pie filling, mulberry, nutmeg, and allspice. Flavors are dense, ripe, and sweet with strawberry, cherry, mulberry, and allspice. No brett evident in this bottle but all of the reports led me to sample. Hard to find the structure under all of the fruit in this right now. Expect better assessment after another year or two in the cellar. Hold.
My second bottle from a case that is marred by brett. So heavily so that it wasn't drinkable, and I am fairly tolerant. In fact, if served blind I woud have guessed Pegau' or Beaucastel from the 90's. Shame as this is usually my favorite Rhys vineyard.
There's was no "blowing off" with this brett; it was dug in like a tick. My wife didn't seem to mind (she just loved the silky texture of the wine), but for me, it obscured the lovely aromatics and flavors that only occasionally seemed to poke through. A real shame.
Checking in earlier than I would normally, based on the complaints of brett. I'm not that sensitive to brett, but even looking for it, couldn't find it in this bottle. Showed a little reductive quality as opened that blew off in a half hour. "Stemmy" quality from the whole cluster shows through. Still heavy on the tannin. Nice acid backbone. Complex fruit profile. This bottle would have been much better in 5 years!
Tuesday Night with a Special Guest (Dave's House): Popped and poured, light garnet colour in the glass. After reading so many reports, I have been hoping for a super brettanomyces tainted bottle. Well, we finally got it. On the nose, this was incredibly dirty, with notes of horse stable, leather, earth, crushed rocks, cranberry, pomegranate, orange rind, herbs, baking spice, and the lovely incense notes that stem inclusion adds. On the palate, such a svelte texture, medium acidity, with some mild drying tannin. Finish is long, accented by pomegranate, cranberry, mineral, orange rind, and spice. Best showing to date, and sadly these are all gone. If anyone wants to sell me their brett tainted bottles, I'm all over it!
A Casual Tuesday (Dave's House): This is the third bottle of this wine I have tasted. First two had no brett. This one was definitely from the bretty batch. I have a very old world palate and having some brett is a huge plus in my books. When you add that to all of the other complexities of this wine it's really stellar. Nose is of incense, seaweed, red currants, cranberry, cherry, tobacco, leather, ash, coffee. Palate is excellent, enters sweet, mid palate is light, and finish is harmonious with acid refreshing, just enough tannin, and incense repeats on the long finish. What a great wine. Very well done Kevin Harvey! I'll take all the returned bretty bottles!
hmmm, obvious brett but not offensive. I've had quite a few Burgundies with similar bret profiles. There is some nice fruit under the earthiness. I'll call it flawed only because the winemaker did. The brett did get worse as the night went on to the point of offensiveness to the palate.
Rhys and Ceritas Tasting (NYC): An overwhelming flavor and aroma of brett that reminded me of some of the more aggressively bretty wines from the Loire. It was possible to see a little bit of structure underneath the manure and green pepper flavors, but sadly it was not that enjoyable. The word is that the producer had some particular issues with this specific wine in 2009 and that all of the other wines are clean.
This wine is certianly a mystery. On first sniff there was a great nose of spies, wet forest floor, mushrooms that quickly turned to Brett (or something like it) before I even had a sip. The wine tasted nothing like it first smelled. No fruit, short, somewhat bitter. At first I thought it might just be the stems, but I'm not so sure. Waited an hour, and some fruit emerged only to again be overtaken by the bitterness. Recorked and tried the next day. Day 2: Again great nose that quickly faded. Taste not much better. My first bottle I had about 6 months ago I rated a 94 (a very high score for me). I hope this was just an off bottle, but after reading some other's notes, I don't feel as confident about my remaining bottles.
My bottle is nothing at all like the notes by others. Brett has camouflaged all the fruit. It reminded me of a 2010 Lapierre Morgon, non-sulphured, that I couldn't drink. Couldn't drink this one either, and I'm not happy to have 3 more bottles of this. I will probably open another tomorrow night, and if it is the same as this bottle, then I am done with Family Farm, because the 2004 also suffered from Brett. However, tomorrow, I will have a back-up. Tonight I am drinking water.
I have a deep stash of Rhys in my cellar, but have been letting all of the Pinots rest; the only time I've tried any were at the winery. I decided to check in on this one as I have a few. Way too young, but still enjoyable. Expressive nose and palate with spicy red and raspberries. What blew me away were the non-fruit nuances; piney Northeastern forest floor, roses, moist tobacco. The tannins are substantial but sleek. While I don't think I'll open another for years, this is already stellar.
The 09 Family Farm is still extremely young, but is already starting to drink very well. To me, Rhys is making some of the most exciting pinot noir in North America. I opened the bottle about 6 hours before consumption (no decanting, just popped the cork), which really helped to open everything up. On the nose this wine gives off scents of molases and ripe berries, while on the palate this showed a medley of spices, tobacco, pine needles, blueberries, ripe raspberries, licorice, black pepper, and a touch of coffee. While the flavors were deep and rich, the wine was never heavy. A very nice effort by Rhys and I am looking forward to where this bottle will go with another 3-5 years of bottle aging.
Dark ruby. Floral notes and cherry on the nose. Very focused and very intense black cherry, lilac, and hint of earthiness on the palate. Medium mouthfeel and fairly long finish. Excellent now, will be great in 5 more years after it has shed some weight.
Power without weight. Definitely closer to the old world and already open for business. Hopefully this is what happens to the tartness most Rhys display in early age. Some stemmy spiceness with cranberry or sourcherry tartness that been mostly absolved into the pinot goodness and just hangs around like mist in California hills.
Consistent with previous notes. A very elegant bottle. Integrated and exotic spice profile. Gorgeous red fruit with a ton of floral lift, and a medium long finish of red/black cherry with hints of sour cherry. Good grip, what is so impressive is how the intensity of the fruit does not diminish as the wine gets lighter in body on the palate, ending almost weightless. Ripe, but with tremendous finesse. 93-95?
Same bottle as 11/21. Now it is open more and resolved, and I still don't like it. Nose of spice, vegetal (green pepper?), orange zest, berries, brambles, tar/smoke. The vegetal component may be some sort of evergreen/menthol/eucalyptus that others have noted. I don't mind it in my cab, but cannot abide it in my Pinots. The palate is somewhat out of focus, but with nice acid and sweet fruit. just not my cup of tea.
Again, opened a day early to see how it develops. PnP. Ruby red. Nose of very very young U.S. Pinot Noir: some primary strawberry & cherry fruit, along with some sweet oak, and an unresolved chemical kind of smell. A bit of baking spice and stone. Reminds me a bit of an unresolved Volnay Champans. Also get a vegetal and green peppery thing at points as well. Palate is quite odd - a touch of sweet fruit and a lot of oak - but the chemical dominates. The mouthfeel is even worse - really disjointed and out of focus. We'll see if this comes around with a day or two.
Decanted about an hour before drinking. Dark ruby with some hints of garnet. Initial showing dark-fruited with vividly fresh black cherries and plums, and a floral component to add interest and complexity. Fruit carries through a very long, lingering finish with nice balancing acidity. Fine-grained tannins are present but not obtrusive. After a couple hours, the fruit is joined by a saddle leather and black tea component. Very nice bottle that's open for business now but promising some interesting development as well.
my third bottle. decanted about an hour. this has shed the candied, floral character it had almost a year ago - the pastille fading into the background but still present in a subtle manner. now, it is showing as a more substantial and serious wine. on the nose there is red and black fruit, sap and evergreen notes, as well as anise and pepper. the palate shows red fruits emerging but a nice backbone of spice and pepper predominate. i think this is just starting to show its stuff and i'm glad i have several more bottles to follow over the next few years.
Garnet to dark garnet color in the glass, fairly clear looking. Nose of dust, berries, thistle and a bit of plum. Flavors of berries, raspberries and plums. Medium acidity, medium tannins, medium to full bodied. Drink or hold.
Tasted non blind at home over several hours. Decanted for 3 hours before initial taste. Very bright nose with overwhelming floral notes intertwined with dark berries and a hint of exotic spices. The palate is similar with rose petals, spice, black tea, sassafras and a healthy dose of stony earth. Very consistent finish with the spice, sassafras and tea components persisting along with dark berries. Medium-firm tannins but drinking surprisingly well at this stage. I expect this one to evolve into a powdery texture eventually. Very nice effort and while it is showing well now, I would hold for 1-3 years before tasting again.
Really lovely; one of the most enjoyable wines I've had from Rhys in some time. The fruit's certainly quite ripe and sweet, but also conveyed with a sense of real freshness and augmented by bright floral and higher toned stemmy elements that add to the complexity and depth here. The tannins are very fine grained making it very easy to drink, with bright acids beneath adding to the sense of refreshment here.
drunk with dinner at spruce. upon opening, still has an aroma of predominantly candied flowers and fruit (almost pastille-like) that overpowers everything else. with a couple of hours in the decanter this died back and red fruits, spice, and pepper began to emerge as the wine showed more complexity. the flavors were fairly reticent as well, but it really started showing some depth and complexity with spice, minerality, and herbs on top of the fruit after a couple of hours. i'd recommend a good 4 hour decant if you're going to drink this now. this has a lot of potential right now but it's not yet showing all it has to offer right out of the gate.
It's been over a year since I last tasted this wine and having bought a handful of these in my order, I figured the blind dinner last night would be a good forum to see what people thought at the table. When I opened the wine at about 3 PM, it had an off note in the nose, like a rubber tire smell. I was a bit worried about it so I splash decanted the wine 2X and then funneled it back to the bottle, wrapped it in paper and put it aside. In my notes during the flight, I guessed Burgundy and based on my earlier comment on the aromatics, some of that funk hung around to fool me. Loamy, iron, burg-like nose, dark fruit, lots of character and saddle, shows a barnyard note. Not sure what to make of this wine at this stage. I may just open another one in a week or so and see if my experience is the same.
Slow ox'd in the bottle for 2.5 hours prior to consumption. Some good amount of stems and perfume like red fruits on the nose. Palate is dense and still filled with stems. At hour 4 the wine really started to blossom. Spicy and rich nose with gentle red fruits, vosne spice, light stems and moderate wood spice. On the palate is a wine with moderate richness, bit of bottle sweetness and some earthy components. Overall it is a very good wine but needs some air to come together and blow off some of the funk.
Probably one of the most disappointing wines I've tasted this year. Sure it's young, but I can't see my way to this ugly duckling becoming a swan. On the first night, after aerating the patient as if it were nearly dead, it was massively disjoint: Some fruit, and a lot of stems. After two days under stopper (which says a lot about how tasty it was or wasn't) it came together a bit, but tasted like a $25 Oregon Pinot. Will it be better with age? Perhaps. But I'm not interested in getting tangled up in a long-term relationship with this wine. Great wines should taste good in their youth.
If this is the future direction of California Pinot Noir I'm not interested. Is it well made? I guess. Will I buy it again? No way.
Tight aromatically and on the palate. Some greener notes of stems and herbs. Day two it did open up, so I see some potential. I kept searching for that fruit purity I have been reading about. Given the hype, a disappointing tasting.
Very tasty. Lots of spice and cedar elements initially that fade a bit with time in the glass to reveal some nice, well balanced fruit with a lengthy finish. Should improve nicely over the next few years.
nose - blackberry, dark cherry, coffee mouth - fleeting big dark berry and cherry fruit flavors hit, and then run leading one to double take, and while trying to decide what just happened a very minerally almost champagne like midpalate appears finishing with considerable dry tannins. This is a very interesting wine. Quite unlike most domestic pinots. Will not bowl you over, this is primarily aimed for those who seek out minerality in their wine. Burgundian? I haven't got a clue. Try again next year.
30 minute decant. Heavy floral perfume (to the point where my wife compared it to hand soap). rich cherry flavors but good mix of sour cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate, keep it from veering into the overly fruity range. A really nice mix of "traditional" Pinot with noticeably California fruit. Judging by the 2nd day, I would guess 2014-2017 might be the sweet spot for this.
PWTG California Pinot Noir Tasting (Wine Bank, Menlo Park): Blind flight of 5 CA Pinots and 1 Burg. Group's #4 wine, My #4. Easily identifiable as the Rhys, this one needed far more time and air. It came off as green and herbaceous. Eucalyptus and cranberry nose, Spice, oak, cherry and eucalyptus flavors.
Kinda a light smoke and methol thing on the nose. Almost close to becoming off putting which actually makes it more interesting. I was told that these are rock hard right out of the gates but this is fairly soft and easy, rounded and good drinking right now.
Floral, cherry, berry and light herbal elements on the nose. It's more than a bit hard/unyielding on the palate, but shows a depth of fruit through to the finish that I have confidence in laying my remaining bottles down for a few years to shed a bit of that tough shell.
Pop and pour and followed over 5 hours. Vibrant color; quite floral on the nose with spice, suggesting whole cluster. This is quite intriguing, and inviting. Nice bright red fruit, some earthy notes and a citrus tang that keeps one called back to the glass for another sip. Bottle gone.
Deep dark red. The floral notes everyone talks about is definitely noticeable. Tannins seems silky, serious fruit on the palate.. Acidity and Tannins are quite balanced. This was pop/poured so I will follow up tomorrow and see what air does for it.
Translucent ruby garnet in the glass. Velvety light strawberry fruit with an earthy component stemmy nose component. Elegant and rather feminine, but with some underlying structure that I think is holding it back some. Probably better in a year or so.
Tannin seems to have backed off since that early sample but this is still very tight and tensile and definitely showing the stems more than the underlying material. Need to try the leftovers tomorrow to get a better read on what's going on. // At that point you get a better sense of its proportions and can appreciate its slender form and silky texture--but it's still very reserved, best left alone for awhile.
This really came off beautifully with a 5 hour slow-ox in bottle. Enormous nose of rich spices with tell-tale cool fruit and mild floral notes. The elegance on the palate is showstopping, reverberating the spice and fruit but it is like a feather on the palate. I can see where one might be distracted by the floral perfume but this is anything but candied, it is silky liquid fruit with strong floral perfume that is tempered by cherry pit acidity. Very powerful but with vanishing weight. I've not had anything like this from California, the wood, tannin, and acidity harmonize perfectly. So good I don't have a good feel for how great it can be, but just delicious and I will get more. 93-95.
Wonderful complex nose, "enivrant" and "capiteux". Very dark color, dark cherries, pleasant but then the vanilla sweet oaky is throwing me off. Will it integrate later? Day 2 was much better leading me to think that it should rest much longer in the cellar.
Hmmm. My first Rhys, but not quite what I was expecting. The nose is ripe, candied, heavily floral, and aldehydic. I also get a carbonic maceration note, kind of like Beaujolais Nouveau. Initially on the palate, ripe red raspberry and cranberry with Mexican vanilla and floral spices. With air, the palate started to tighten up and was actually less forthcoming on Day 2. Some fine tannins show up with air, and while there is decent acidity, the fruit is so candied and ripe that the overall impression is one of flabbiness. I can accept that this wine is young and needs more time, but I'm kind of turned off by the ripeness and perfume-like florals. Is this representative of the Rhys style? Or is this a manifestation of the vintage?
Light garnet colour. Expressive nose of red fruit (cranberry, red current maybe some raspberry), maybe breadfruit with some funky stemmy notes and a slight floral note. Initially quite tight on the palate but over time opened up with some tasty dark cherry, cranberry and minerals flavours. Great acidity and smooth tannins. This wine just kept improving in glass and I'm looking forward to opening the next bottle in another 5+ years as I expect it to just keep improving.
My first Rhys and I enjoyed very much. Sat in the decanter for 2 hours and consumed with raspberry glazed Salmon. Some red fruit on the nose as well as green tea, baking spice, vanilla, and flowers. More red sweet fruit on the palate along with a greeness, spice, vanilla, and tea. Nice mid palate with a long finish. Finished the last glass five hours after opening and still going strong. Decent acidity and tannins allowing for some age. Popped to decide whether or not to continue to buy. I won't fill the cellar but will continue to buy in hopes these age and add more secondary notes.
Very impressed. Decanted for aproxamitliy 1.5 hours. What a beautiful Pinot. Great minerality on the nose. Smooth fruit with great structure on the palate with an outstanding acid backbone. Wish I bought more than one bottle. Will be buying more with great confinance in the future.
Restrained cherry liquor and stony minerality at the forefront with floral and spice notes. Fine lightly chalky tannins provide backbone. Well balanced. This is tightly wound now. After an hour, this is starting to unwind, offering a little more breadth and fruit. This is a polished, refined, and balanced wine that should unwind over the next few years into a silky, elegant Pinot. Great potential.
Easily the best US Pinot Noir I have ever tasted and quite impressive stuff. What strikes me most is how constrained, elegant, structured and earthy this wine is. My mind is wandering towards the cooler climate Pinots of Jura with their floral aromatics and stony fruit even if there is just a bit more stuffing here. Absolutely delicious now but I'm sure this will be interesting to follow over a decade or more. Jason brought this bottle. With Jason at Foreign & Domestic in Austin.
Christmas Run; 12/24/2011-12/26/2011 (Around the Bay): Decanted 90+ minutes in advance of a Christmas pork loin. Got a little interim taste along the way and it was broad, deep, and interesting. At dinner, it cinched up a bit and really very stemmy alongside the stemless Big Basin Bald Mt. More structure, earth and complex aromatics but overall less enjoyable at this point in time. 90-91
Intense aromatics, very bright red fruit bordering on black fruit, with a strong spice component. The palate is bright, but intense; the whole-cluster fermentation really shows, lending a very firm structure. Great material, and this really begs for more time. A stark contrast to the 2009 Evesham Wood Puits Sec opened this same night, which was very much red-fruit driven and wrapped in a lighter package.
Say what you want about California Pinot, but I'd mistake this one for a young 2003 Burgundy in the blind tasting. Seducing aromas, long finish, approachable now and has many years of joy ahead of it. Andy, did I say that you and your Rhys is always welcome? and you don't have to do the dishes the next time you bring it! ...and this is the highest pseudo score I can give! :)
I didn't really get it before but I do now. The nose has some cherry elements but what is appealing about it to me is the strong earth and savory herbs component. The palate has some nice Brit cherry as well but again there is an earthy, mushroom note that while not intrusive, gives the wine tremendous character. Nice vanilla note as well. Tight and young but my favorite Rhys so far...yummy stuff.
Thursday Night Blind Tasting in KW (Greg's House): Popped and poured, evolved in the glass over about 45 minutes. Dark black cherry, raspberry sorbet, wet stones, vanilla, with a hint of seaweed, giving it a sea water saline component. On the palate, more black cherries, minerality; exceptional balance, with racing acidity. Minimal tannic structure. A beautiful, elegant expression of pinot. Kicking myself now for only grabbing 2 of these, as the 2nd bottle isn't going to last long. While young, this is open for business.
Popped and poured. Medium deep red; complex spicy nose and red and black fruits, stems, herbs, with the spicy herbal components dominant. Quite full and primary on the palate with some drying tannins on the finish. After an hour or so this has a pronounced sour cherry flavor and becomes a bit angular; still clearly a very young Pinot with lots of stuffing; this bottle clearly needs time to resolve the tannins and to meld.
Starts off with a little Pinot "funk", almost bretty to me...kind of reminded me of the '04 Alesia Syrah a tad? But but but...ahhh, 100% whole cluster....yea, that's it! What's amazing is, initially I get that funk, but it's clean and good funk....then some nice cranberry acidity that you think is going to tingle(ala VA), but it doesn't. Or...an alcohol kick on the finish...but there isn't. This wine is smooooooth as satin sheets...really plays with your palate! Wonderful florals, dark spices, stems, green raspberry tea....to go along with the fresh and somewhat delicate(for Ca.) wild berry fruit. I like the total package....with the funk making you contemplate!
Consumed over 2 nights. Light delicate floral nose with a "stemmy" quality with cherry pit. Fine polished acidic palate, slighty tart and austere with strong cherry pit and licorice quality--very pure clean and seeming concentrated while elegant fruit. Medium to long finish with fine polished tannins and chalky stoney character. Very good but too young and drinking a little below the hype level. That being said I think this will be a special wine in 5+yrs. Should improve greatly.
Lots of green flavors of moss and grass. Dried Chinese plum/cherry. There's a grittiness to this wine. It reminds me of pebbles on a clear river steam. Understated, yet quite charming. Like a young flower that has yet to open. This will definitely get better with time. 13.4% alcohol is absurd for California point. 94 points with potential for more.
Decanted for 4 hours. Second half of the bottle is for tonight. Wanted to try a bottle early, I know it is too young. Beautiful bright ruby color. Nose was a bit tight (some earth?), but very nice fruits (cherry / raspberry), some spice. Smooth and easy to drink right now. Still tight on palate too. Needs time to develop secondary characteristics hopefully, as a little simplistic today. Let's see how tonight is. Second night - similar commentary. Stemminess was there that others have mentioned. The time did it well though - darker and a bit more complex. Will wait a few years before touching again.
Very nice bottle. The most striking aspect to me was the silky texture. Deep, pure red fruit on both the nose and the palate. Hints of earthiness linger in the background, giving me hope that this will become increasingly complex with age. Delicious now, seems like it will be better later.
Wow. This had a brilliant nose of flowers and soil upon opening. Really nice acid with a long finish. Mellowed a bit after two hours in the decanter, but I thought it drank the best right out of the bottle. Drink or hold.
This is just a spectacular wine. The ripeness, weight of the fruit, balance of tannins and acidity are just... to borrow from an online acronym (but in a positive connotation), SMH - shaking my head. There is no shortage of oak spice but it has been applied with Swiss precision and it is this precision that frames the fruit so nicely, and boy is the fruit good. Ripe, sweet cherries, strawberries, and raspberries... all lush, textured, rich, and delicious. This bottle was open for business and I would recommend trying one now.
Did I drink this too early? Of course I did, but I stocked up on this bottling so I could see how it develops over time.
Although tight and not giving much on the palate, it does have a pretty bouquet that is somewhat of a mix of herbs and fruit. My biggest take-away was that the wine was pleasant to drink because there are no noticeable flaws with this wine. A lack of negatives is a good thing, but I suspect the positive aspects will develop in time.
This took a nice decant and two days to open up. Nose of spice and earth. On the palate there are plush cherries and raspberries with earth notes. There are hints of flower, vanilla and some oak spice on the finish. Needs time.
Red fruit, spice and earth. Well made and very nice. Certainly a wine that will age well, but less structured than previous Rhys bottlings. I'd say give this a year or so in the bottle and it will really be singing.
At this time, I couldn't get past the stemminess of the wine. There is plenty of fruit and acid structure that I expect it will resolve with time, but will hold the rest for a few years. Funnily, I tasted the same wine six months ago at the winery, and while the stems were present, they didn't dominate the way they do now. Give it time.
Needs time IMHO. Double decanted and followed over two nights. Showed better on the first night with more red fruit showing with some stemmy notes. Second night, the fruit was in the background with the tannins becoming the more dominant feature. Fairly tannic and a bit rough at this point. When this finds some balance/harmony and the stems settle in, its going to be a wonderful bottle. Glad I bought all that I could.
This is in a great place right now. Ripe, deep red fruits, some minerals, and nice acidity make this a fun, young Rhys. Addicting and gulpable. Medium bodied and open for business, this paired great with braised shortribs.
Popped and poured, given about 2 hours aeration over the course of the evening, but no decanting. I haven't touched any of the Rhys '08s yet, trying to heed Kevin's advice that they need time and the '09s are much more open for business currently. Though I own a ridiculous amount of Rhys, I've only actually sampled a few (such is the nature of the blind faith myself and others put into this operation), and the only other FF I've tried is the '04. As expected, the Rhys team seems to have fine-tuned their winemaking over the past 5 years, and this edition seems more elegant, nuanced, and leaning less toward the riper "black fruit" end of the spectrum than the '04. Noticeable whole-cluster on the nose gives a stemmy/earthy impression initially, which seems to better integrate with aeration. Also, the wood is more obvious initially, but again, integrates over time. Red cherry, pomegranate, and floral notes on the palate with a medium-long finish and (as expected) not a trace of heat given the 13.4% alcohol. Balanced and accessible now, though with sufficient stuffing to improve with mid-term aging. While delicious, this seems to fall short of the complexity and minearality I've experienced in other Rhys vineyards, but lovely nonetheless. As a sign of a truly great wine, my wife finished her glass before mine.
Drank in increments over 3 days...best on Day 3. First 2 days it showed aromas of raspberry liquer, spice, woodsy cologne, new wood, a bit stemmy. This wine is very structured and has the stuffing to age for a bit. On day 3 the wine has softened a bit and has beautiful aromas of dried flowers, wood, spice box. Once it opened up, this wine blind could be mistaken as a burg.
Opened and poured, the wine showed in an open, accessible style. The aromatics are detailed and provide red cherry, floral and spice notes with an underlying stem element. The color is a medium to dark ruby that is appropriate for the wines age. The medium bodied palate shows detail, balance and length on the finish. The tannins are well rounded and subtle with acidity present on the finish. This drinks well now and should benefit from an additional year or two of bottle age.
I normally don't open the Rhys offerings this early, with the exception of the former Alesia line. But I was encouraged by the newsletter accompanying the shipment that suggested that the '09's could be consumed younger than normal. So, here we go:
On the nose - aromatic, perfumed, stems, spice. On the palate, richer and more lush than I was expecting. But that's probably a function of comparing this the Alesia bottlings I'm more familiar with. Mid-weight, but it feels heavier than that. Acids are subdued, but come across as more of an independent component rather than married into the body of the wine. This is very approachable now, all-in-all fairly integrated for a wine this young. That said, I think that a couple of years will further improve this wine. 91 points for now, 93+ points for potential.
Pretty, medium-red color, with a touch of purple. Reticent nose, opening eventually to red fruit and spice. Elegant, noticeable tannins and stems, only showing a hint of sweetness with black cherry, cranberry toward the finish. Enjoyable now, and will improve with time.
Rhys (Peking Duck House): Both of these 2009s were very austerely structured with tough, drying tannin that made it difficult to get a read on them and the stem influence still very much front and center. They also haven't quite fully integrated the wood yet. Here it manifests as a chocolatey flavor on the entry with the fruit sweetening up and coming to the foreground only on the finish. In proportions this is more slender and elegant than the Swan but it closes down in the glass and the structure takes over.
Rhys Visit--All The 2009s From Bottle! (Rhys Estate (At The Winery)): 13.3%, 35% new oak, 100% whole cluster. Notably stemmy, kind of a soily/mulch note, what Tyler Rico (who was tasting with us) called "peat moss" or "peaty". He nailed it. Plump, juicier texture with a good size dollop of rocks. Zippy black cherry, strawberry, light pepper and cranberry. I love the rocky aspect of this wine.
Tasted during pickup day. Wines were opened 24hr ahead of time, and slow-oxed. Powdery, open cherry fruit on the nose. Very fine and dusty tannins. Good structure. Light-medium weight which is a bit of a contrast compared to the overt aromas. Seems to be drinking better earlier than in previous vintages.
Nose - incense/lavender/green wood, restrained dark purple fruit, pomegranate. Very floral with a delicate astringency. Lavender, purple basil, pomegranate, green wood and smoke, underlying hints of jujube and boysenberry, with cinnamon and lemon zest on the finish. Drink '14-'26.
Rhys Pickup Day (Rhys Winery, Santa Cruz Mtns.): Explosive nose of sweet cherries, cherry licorice and a bit of menthol. Light to medium body, black cherries, cedar, juicy acidity and a bit of tannins on the finish. Good, but for my palate it needs some time for the stems and oak to integrate.
Tasted at the Rhys pickup event, and no notes taken. This wine was loaded with sweet spice on the nose. While it does show some deep red/black fruit, apparently is was bottled just a couple of weeks ago, and it seemed a bit disjointed and difficult to evaluate. But it clearly does have some nice underlying material.