February 1, 2010

2006 Rhys/Alesia Pinot Noir San Mateo County

In the past five years, Rhys has appeared on the California wine scene and established itself as one of the finest makers of California Pinot, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Rhys owner, Kevin Harvey, and his team, are non-interventionist producers who are consistently cranking out age-worthy wines with old-world, some-might-say-Burgundian, sensibilities.

The Rhys philosophy as stated on their webpage:

At Rhys Vineyards we aspire to make great wines from unique and expressive vineyards. This pursuit has lead us to select five different sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Our overriding belief is that unique vineyard expression is the key to truly great wines.

Like many other world-class wines, Rhys wines are produced in small quantities and available only through the winery mailing list. A list which I am fortunate to be on.

For the past four vintages, Rhys also produced non-estate grown wines under their second label, Alesia. In 2006, the Rhys team declassified the fruit from their estate-owned Family Farm Vineyard and used it to produce the 2006 Pinot Noir San Mateo County cuvee under the Alesia label. It is an incredible wine that was offered from the winery for under $25 on release.

2006 Alesia Pinot Noir San Mateo County--The wine is still absolutely kicking ass. A great wine for its modest cost. Pale red in the glass. Full of stemmy-spice notes and a long herbal warmth on the finish. So persistent with cranberry fruit and minerals and spice on the palate. So light on its feet, yet so packed with intensity. Drinking well for a few more years if not longer. Bravo Kevin and co.

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