September 12, 2020 - This bottle was a little flat and uninspiring. Lacking fruit, some bretty saline notes.
September 1, 2020 - very nice right now
August 28, 2020 - In a pretty good place right now. Has a seductive woodsy red-black fruit nose. Red cherries, baking spice, loam, finishing long and juicy, with lithe acidity. Fairly restrained but clearly of its place, and while this has some Burgundian characteristics, it could not IMO be mistaken for anything in the Cote d'Or.
July 13, 2020 - The 2012 Rhys Horseshoe Pinot Noir is absolutely stunning at eight years of age. Reddish brown in color. A ripe nose of red cherries, dark berries, eucalyptus, and earth. Characteristically dark and sensual in feel, while also being one of the juicier Horseshoes that I have had. Long, dusty finish that lingers for 60 seconds. This is a great place right now, but I would drink up over next 5 years.
July 6, 2020 - This wine has really hit its stride. PnP. Gorgeous aromas of cherry, raspberry, sandlewood, smoke, floral and spice. Layers of flavor with cherry and raspberry showing well, followed by spice, smoke, Medium bodied. the tannins are silky smooth in the long finish. Should hold 5+ years, but really good now.
June 21, 2020 - Definitely a food wine, sour cherry, with some complexity. Reminded me of a 1999 Leroy Vosne Beaux Monts (at 1/12 the price). Which in a way means it tasted a bit older than I expected. Cerebral more than guttural, this would carry it off with any dish destined for good quality red burg: game with rich sauces offset by current or cranberry. Chicken Paprikash. Duck a l'orange. A francophile classic from the new country. I feel age will bring more out.
April 20, 2020 - Decanted and drank over several hours. Just a perfect expression of Pinot. Perhaps lacking in secondary characteristics. Will let my other bottles rest and see what happens.
March 24, 2020 - Second of two ($63@) from my first auction lot 21 months ago. Opened with 1 oz pour then left for 90 minutes. On the nose and palate, earth, forest floor, dried spice and tart cherry in a lean, tight package. The wine fleshed out a bit after the 90 minutes and the fruit became a bit fuller (though nothing anyone would confuse with sweet or opulent) with notes of pine needles, wet leaves, rose petals, pomegranate, raspberry, and minerality. Surprisingly dark colored, light to medium bodied with light legs. Powerful acidity, medium+ tannins, the furthest thing from heat. Good intensity and complexity but light persistence. Fresh and racy, light and lithe, saline and savory (thank you, whole clusters!), this is as close as you're going to get to Beaune this year without Air France, but if your idea of pinot is more like Lynmar or KB, then keep walking; there's nothing to see here, because you'd confuse this with a Northern Rhone before you'd confuse it with the pinots from either of those shops. Incredibly food friendly with its lightness and acidity, it actually paired quite well with seared striped bass, while many pinots overwhelm even a more fulsome fish like salmon. I like Rhys's pinots and really admire the craft, but I have a hard time saying I *love* them, and like the Damilano barolo--and opposite of the Hourglass cab--this wine is a good couple of points better with food than without, and not something I'd regularly reach for, especially at $100+ secondary market retail, not that I'd want to drink pinot nightly, anyway. Although 8 years is toward the end of what I'd ordinarily consider life for a CA pinot, low abv and high acidity should guaranty this goes on at this level for quite a while and could even inch up a bit. 91-92
March 20, 2020 - I think this was the best Horseshoe I've had so far. No formal notes, but lovely complexity and texture.
February 14, 2020 - Nose still has some fruit of youth, through it has darkened from what I likely was and is showing funk too. Beautiful, enveloping, alluring. Palette is quite tertiary and with dried fruits, baking spices, herbs. Bright med+ acid. This needed some air to waken.