TN: 2005 Rhys Alpine Chardonnay and a Shout Out to Jason Hagen

This bottle has been sitting in a special corner of my cellar since I took possession of it back in 2008 waiting for the right moment to pop it. This weekend proved to be the right moment and it did not disappoint at all.

Back when I first signed up for the Rhys list I was not allocated any of the Chardonnays, which was quite disappointing at the time. I went on a quest to find some and fellow Berserker Jason Hagen told me (paraphrasing here) that as long as I was actually planning to drink it and promised never to sell it off he’d sell me one of his allocated bottles of the 2005 at his cost. It was a deal and, as mentioned, I’ve been caring for this bottle ever since then and waiting for a reason to pop it. Thanks for entrusting me with this bottle, Jason, as it was absolutely smashing.

2005 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard
Candidly, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I pulled this out of the cellar and popped the cork. Once I took my first sniff, though, I knew I was in for a treat. This Alpine chardonnay was in prime form and drank great from the first sip to the last slurp with the first comment to myself being “damn, this is delicious.” Seemingly in a perfect spot, maturity-wise, it still comes across as fresh and vibrant but with a great lanolin texture that only comes with a bit of bottle age. Salty, lemony, pineapple-y and framed up with a kiss of oak spice that leads to a slightly buttery note on the finish. This is really even keeled, well textured and the acids keep it fresh in the mouth. Each sip made me take pause and this is easily the best domestic chardonnay I’ve had in quite some time. Wish I had more!

Thanks Jason for sharing your allocation with me way back when. I held true to my promise and am appreciative for the experience I got as a result. Here’s to hoping I’m able to pay it forward along the way.


1 Like

Great post!

Great story and note; thanks for posting.

Popping around on the new site and saw that I missed this thread. It was posted at a time when I was very sick. Great read and so happy to have shared my allocation.