TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

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D@vid Bu3ker
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TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#1 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 8th, 2019, 4:19 pm

2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (9/8/2019)
Rhys Pinots are the gift we’re always waiting for. They show so much promise, but they are always too young, too closed, too unevolved for pure enjoyment. The 2012 Horseshoe Vineyard Pinot Noir seems to actually be turning the corner. It’s aromatically gorgeous, as well as complex. Fruit is joined by herbal tones, and the elusive “sous bois” that is often talked about, but rarely experienced outside the rarified terroirs of Burgundy. There is still ample depth for further upside development, though it does not have much tannin left, so be careful.

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Peter Petersen
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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#2 Post by Peter Petersen » September 8th, 2019, 4:58 pm

I’ve had a number of bottles of this and would agree that it is not only delicious but also ready to drink.
I only got a token allocation in 2012 as I didn’t buy the three previous vintages, but scored 6 of these on a minimum bid at K&L.

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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#3 Post by Kevin Harvey » September 8th, 2019, 5:10 pm

I am glad you enjoyed it David.
Our Rhys experience divides into 3 somewhat different evolutionary periods - 2004-2008, 2009-2011 and 2012 to present. This bottle is indicative of what people can expect from us in current vintages.
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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#4 Post by maureen nelson » September 8th, 2019, 5:35 pm

Drank the 2014 horseshoe chard at my friend Monique’s house tonight with crabcakes and my (justifiably lauded) panzanella and boy was it spectacular.

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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#5 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 8th, 2019, 6:08 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:10 pm
I am glad you enjoyed it David.
Our Rhys experience divides into 3 somewhat different evolutionary periods - 2004-2008, 2009-2011 and 2012 to present. This bottle is indicative of what people can expect from us in current vintages.
Yes. I started in 2006, but that makes a lot of sense. The wines from 2012 forward have a clearer path.
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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#6 Post by Todd Laubach » September 9th, 2019, 6:45 am

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:10 pm
I am glad you enjoyed it David.
Our Rhys experience divides into 3 somewhat different evolutionary periods - 2004-2008, 2009-2011 and 2012 to present. This bottle is indicative of what people can expect from us in current vintages.
Hi Kevin - Can you expand on the difference in wine making during these periods?

Todd

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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#7 Post by P L owet » September 9th, 2019, 9:43 am

We opened the Rhys 2009 Pinot Noir Horseshoe last night. Showed very well but more in the "easy drinker" category than something you want to analyze. Based on my tasting at release, I suspect 2012 may be a half-step up, but that's not to be dismissive of the tasty 2009.
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Peter
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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#8 Post by Kevin Harvey » September 9th, 2019, 12:47 pm

Todd Laubach wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 6:45 am
Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:10 pm
I am glad you enjoyed it David.
Our Rhys experience divides into 3 somewhat different evolutionary periods - 2004-2008, 2009-2011 and 2012 to present. This bottle is indicative of what people can expect from us in current vintages.
Hi Kevin - Can you expand on the difference in wine making during these periods?

Todd
Todd,
There are many more consistencies than differences over the 3 periods but I will focus on the differences.
Compared to recent vintages in our first few years (2004-2008) we made wine with more whole clusters (close to 100% for all bottlings) and more punchdowns (extraction) during fermentation. Also, because we did not have the same temperature control as we have in the cave, we needed to use dry ice for some cooling (also extractive). And our vines were quite young and had not reached the same balance.
In the middle period, we were beginning to understand more about the characteristics of the various parcels in our vineyards and we began to do more targetted destemming. Also, we reduced the winemaking extraction in order to improve the texture and terroir expression. Our early regime had been honed on Sonoma fruit (Alesia) and we found that our Santa Cruz Mtn estate fruit had more natural structure and did not require the same extraction in order to achieve the texture that we were looking for. During this middle period, we also made some major changes in our viticulture (greatly reducing outside inputs like compost) and began to dry farm vineyards as the vine maturity allowed.
By 2012, we had found the level of extraction we were looking for, we knew which parcels excelled with whole cluster or destemmed grapes and our vines were maturing and producing grapes with the natural balance we were looking for. There have been few changes since that vintage in our Pinot Noir winemaking which is why I feel the 2012 vintage is very representative of recent vintages from Rhys.
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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#9 Post by William Kelley » September 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm

I opened my first bottle of 2013 Alpine Pinot Noir the other day, somewhat impulsively, and had a similarly fulfilling experience! Truly a beautiful showing.
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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#10 Post by Peter Petersen » September 9th, 2019, 3:17 pm

William Kelley wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm
I opened my first bottle of 2013 Alpine Pinot Noir the other day, somewhat impulsively, and had a similarly fulfilling experience! Truly a beautiful showing.
Thanks for the heads up! I’ve had a ‘12 HS, PN upright for months now, but I was never really in the mood for another Rhys. Now I’m popping the ‘13 Alpine, PN, for dinner tonight and maybe there’ll be some for tomorrow as well.

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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#11 Post by John Preston » September 9th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Peter Petersen wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 3:17 pm
William Kelley wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm
I opened my first bottle of 2013 Alpine Pinot Noir the other day, somewhat impulsively, and had a similarly fulfilling experience! Truly a beautiful showing.
Thanks for the heads up! I’ve had a ‘12 HS, PN upright for months now, but I was never really in the mood for another Rhys. Now I’m popping the ‘13 Alpine, PN, for dinner tonight and maybe there’ll be some for tomorrow as well.
Hello Peter. I uncorked a '13 Alpine PN over the weekend and I probably should have decanted (flavors were a bit muted but the wine was still enjoyable). The cork had some issues so I will be curious about your experience...

Cheers,
JP

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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#12 Post by josh bryer » September 9th, 2019, 5:53 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 12:47 pm

There are many more consistencies than differences over the 3 periods but I will focus on the differences.
Compared to recent vintages in our first few years (2004-2008) we made wine with more whole clusters (close to 100% for all bottlings) and more punchdowns (extraction) during fermentation. Also, because we did not have the same temperature control as we have in the cave, we needed to use dry ice for some cooling (also extractive). And our vines were quite young and had not reached the same balance.
In the middle period, we were beginning to understand more about the characteristics of the various parcels in our vineyards and we began to do more targetted destemming. Also, we reduced the winemaking extraction in order to improve the texture and terroir expression. Our early regime had been honed on Sonoma fruit (Alesia) and we found that our Santa Cruz Mtn estate fruit had more natural structure and did not require the same extraction in order to achieve the texture that we were looking for. During this middle period, we also made some major changes in our viticulture (greatly reducing outside inputs like compost) and began to dry farm vineyards as the vine maturity allowed.
By 2012, we had found the level of extraction we were looking for, we knew which parcels excelled with whole cluster or destemmed grapes and our vines were maturing and producing grapes with the natural balance we were looking for. There have been few changes since that vintage in our Pinot Noir winemaking which is why I feel the 2012 vintage is very representative of recent vintages from Rhys.
Kevin, as someone who has quite a bit of Rhys wines spanning from 2008-2013 in the cellar, I really appreciate the explanation, insight and time you take to post here.

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Re: TN: 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

#13 Post by R Roberts » September 9th, 2019, 7:53 pm

Thanks for the note. I cracked one tonight:
  • 2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (9/9/2019)
    My last split, and from the most recent note, thought I'd try this as a PnP. It was aromatically closed and thin bodied this way and really took a few hours and some vigorous swirling in the glass to show its true self. As my note from ~10 months ago said, this wine is ready for business and is quite delicious (at that time it was double decanted). Spicy, dark fruited, medium bodied, bright with a long rich saline finish. I plan on continued upside for these.
R.ama

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