Jeb Dunnuck Awards Rhys Top Scores in Latest Wine Advocate By Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

Jeb Dunnuck Awards Rhys Top Scores in Latest Wine Advocate


2013 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard

The star of the whites was the 2013 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard. Tasting like a Grand Cru Chablis with its incredibly pure lemon curd, flinty minerality, brioche and white flowers, it’s medium to full-bodied, laser focused, crisp and crystalline on the palate. It’s a stunning Chardonnay that will compete with the creme de la creme of Chardonnays. 96 

2013 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard

My favorite of the latest release Chardonnays, the 2013 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard is a screaming effort that got a few wows in the notes. More ripe and rounded than the Alpine Vineyard (at the moment anyways, as Kevin commented that this cuvee continues to pick up more and more focus with bottle age), its light/medium gold color is followed by tons of ripe white peach and orchard fruits, toasted nuts, crushed rock and white flowers. Rounded, concentrated and rich on the palate, yet with vibrant underlying acidity that cuts through the finish, give it a year or two in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2025+  94+

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir San Mateo

Much more fruit loaded and rounded than the Santa Cruz Mountains release, the 2013 Pinot Noir San Mateo County comes mostly from the Family Farm vineyard, with a touch from Horseshoe. It gives up lots of strawberry, Bing cherry, spice, and floral nuances to go with beautiful fruit and texture on the palate. It’s one of the most approachable Pinots in the lineup, but I suspect it will still have another 5-7 years of longevity. 92

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

The 2013 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains is a terrific expression of mountain fruit, especially when tasted beside the San Mateo release. Firm red fruits, dusty stone-like minerality, white flowers and a touch of rose all emerge from this medium-bodied, silky, lively and elegantly styled Pinot Noir. Possessing solid underlying tannin and integrated acidity, it will have 10-12 years of overall longevity.  93

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

The only release from Kevin Harvey’s team not from rocky soils, the 2013 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard offers a lot of floral characteristics in its supple, rounded, fruit-loaded personality. More red fruits than black, with a full, loaded mid-palate and a rocking texture, it might not have the tension or structure of the Horseshoe or Alpine Vineyard releases, but makes up for it with its charm and approachability. Drink this beauty anytime over the coming 8-10 years. 93

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Home Vineyard

Following the Family Farm release, the 2013 Pinot Noir Home Vineyard has more minerality to go with pretty red fruits, spice and mountain wild flower-like nuances. It has plenty of fruit, yet has a core of tight tannin and acidity that only shows on the finish. Textured, balanced, layered and nuanced, it’s a classic Rhys Pinot Noir that has everything you could want.  95

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard

The 2013 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard is as sexy and fruit driven as the wines from this estate get. Giving up tons of strawberries, blueberries, crushed violets and assorted floral notes, it’s upfront and layered on the palate, with plenty of fruit, good concentration and a big finish. Shining for its mouth filling fruit and texture, it’s still far from blowsy or soft, and should evolve nicely. 93​

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard Porcupine Hill 

Coming from a single parcel of high density vines in the Bearwallow Vineyard in Anderson Valley, the 2013 Pinot Noir Porcupine Hill knocks it out of the park with it intensity and depth. Giving up fabulous black raspberry, dried rose petal, violets and spice/incense, it’s pure class on the palate and has an ethereal texture, perfect balance and a great finish. While distinctly different from the Santa Cruz Mountain releases, it’s at the same quality level. 95

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Skyline Vineyard

One of the most exotic Pinots in the lineup, the 2013 Pinot Noir Skyline Vineyard has a killer nose of rose garden, wild flowers, strawberries, blueberries and crushed rocks. Medium-bodied, silky, elegant, and beautifully light on its feet and nuanced, it has the vibrant streak of acidity and tension that will keep it drinking nicely for 10-15 years.  95

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Swan Terrace

Coming from a small, east-facing parcel in the Alpine Vineyard, the sensational 2013 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace has a searing, gunpowder-like minerality to go with more subtle peppery spice, rose petal, liquid rock and perfumed red fruits. One of the most structured and firm 2013s, its defined by its tight tannic structure on the palate and needs 2-3 years of cellaring. It’s another terrific 2013 that will see its 15th birthday in fine form. 96

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

The 2013 Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard has a touch of darker fruit in its strawberry, cassis, dusty soil and earthy bouquet. This flows to a beautifully textured, seamless Pinot Noir that has sound underlying structure, medium plus-bodied richness and a great finish. Possessing both fruit and structure, it should be accessible for all of its life.  94

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Hillside 

Not made since 2006 and described by Kevin as the ultimate expression of the vineyard, the 2013 Pinot Noir Alpine Hillside Vineyard was a cellar selection (done blind) that ended up coming all from the same block of steep, east-facing vines. It has an almost Horseshoe like level of minerality in its gunpowder, flinty minerality, dusty soil, dried roses, and sweet red fruit aromas and flavors. Fresh, vibrant and weightless, yet with rocking depth and texture, it’s a serious wine that tastes like the Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir on steroids. It has more fruit and depth than the straight Alpine release, so its actually more enjoyable today, yet will age even better. 96+

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

This steep, south facing parcel always yields a mineral-style of wine and the 2013 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard lives up to expectations. Currants, rose petals, forest floor and crushed rocks all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, sexy, yet unsurprisingly tight, structured and firm 2013. It’s another 2013 that needs 2-3 years of cellaring and will have 15 years or more of overall longevity.  95+

2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Hillside 

The deepest, richest and most concentrated release in the lineup, the 2013 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Hillside Vineyard is a cellar selection from the Horseshoe Vineyard that saw 25% whole cluster (they rarely use much whole cluster from this site), and 17 months in 50% new French oak. It’s an intense, layered and vibrant effort that has tons of red and exotic blue fruits, violets, underbrush and subtle minerality. At this point, its fruit and texture are front and center, yet it has terrific mid-palate depth, a vibrant, taut texture and building tannin, all of which point to it evolving gracefully. Give it a year or two in the cellar and drink this beauty over the following decade or so. 96



2013 Alesia Chardonnay Alder Springs Vineyard

The 2013 Alesia Chardonnay Alder Springs Vineyard is a winner. The last vintage from the Alder Spring Vineyard, it has gorgeous buttered citrus, ripe apple and white flowers aromas and flavors, a plump, rounded, supple texture and a clean finish. There’s hints of classy oak on the finish, and it’s a rock solid Chardonnay that has lots of charm and typicity. Drink it over the coming 2-3 years. 91.

2013 Alesia Pinot Noir Alder Springs Vineyard

Like with the Alder Springs Chardonnay, the 2013 Alesia Pinot Noir Alder Springs Vineyard will be the last Pinot Noir from Rhys from this vineyard. It’s another terrific red under this label though, that delivers tons of Pinot Noir charm in its pretty and exotic bouquet of sweet red fruits, incense and spring flowers. Light on its feet, graceful and lively, with beautiful elegance and polish, it will drink nicely through 2023. 91.

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