2008 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard- USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (4/19/2011)
This is the most impressive Chard from Rhys yet, for me. Leads with a pungent minerality and complex citrus & trop flavors on perfect bones. This is a thrill! Seems to make the best of CA ripeness without over the top alc or wood. Perfectly balanced. I’ll wait 3yrs, hopefully to try btl # 2. Happy to have 2 more. (94 pts.)
That’s funny, Joe. I have been able to order the Chardonnay for several vintages now, but I have never even tried one (I haven’t even had any shipped from my off-site in CA because I don’t want to be tempted). Most of the notes suggest that they need to be held, so I have just been pretending they aren’t there.
I had three so opening one early was an easy decison and no regrets. If I only had 1 or 2 I’d wait a couple more years to open the first btl. I think next year or maybe even later this year Rhys will have more chardonnay cuvees.
while the pinots really need to be forgotten about for some time, the chards are still really awesome shortly after release. as more chard becomes available, i won’t feel so bad about popping a few of those corks on the early side.
With the additional Chardonnay at Horseshoe becoming productive, we will have much more Chardonnay in 2009 as our total bearing acreage increased from 1.5 to 5.5 acres. This means that we will offer a Chardonnay on every release. Also the allocation will go deeper into the list and possibly increase for longer term customers.
The wines are made in identical style, meaning minimal oak (~25%), similar ripeness, whole cluster pressed and the same winemaking (ie very little) so I think people will see a stylistic similarity. Also, the vineyards have similar vines and share the same climate, so this comparison is primarily about soil-driven differences and when tasted side by side the wines show some marked differences. The Alpine Chard has more powerful depth and length while the Horseshoe shows more elegant tender fruit and the slatey mineral perfume that all wines from this site seem to exhibit. Overall, I think people that like our Alpine Chard will also enjoy the Horseshoe and hopefully the comparison will be fun.