TN: 2014 Rhys Chardonnay (USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley)

Feel free to flame away, boys.

  • 2014 Rhys Chardonnay - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (8/1/2017)
    Dull yellow colored with reticent aromas of tropical fruit and white citrus. Vigorous swirling also reveals a white flower note. On pop and pour the palate was slightly reduced. After an hour or air there’s a good deal of tart citrus flavor - mostly lemon - with a touch of oak. The mouthfeel is a bit rounded, though it’s counterbalanced by enough acid to induce a pucker. Slightly unbalanced, the QPR is lacking. Would benefit from an additional 12-24 months of rest; Drink through 2022. (85 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Why would we flame away? It sounds about right, especially for a young wine. I wondered, though, what was out of balance?

Why? People tend to get defensive if a board favorite is given a review that is less than glowing. It’s not a bad wine by any means, but it just wasn’t worth the tariff. I have a fair amount of Rhys in my cellar, but I’m done buying (not based on this bottle).

As to the second question, the wine seemed a bit disjointed. It had a roundness that I often find in lower quality wines (though not to that extreme) that usually carry less acid. However, the acidity in this wine bordered on shrill. The roundness and the acid didn’t strike me as harmonious, which I think of as unbalanced (I hope that makes sense, because I’m not sure that I can describe it much better).

There seems to be a bit of a backlash lately from Rhys reviews and I wonder what that is about. Granted no wine will please everyone, but the only thing different that keeps me away is the continuing price increase. I love their juice but can’t justify the tariff anymore so I letting them go. Have not had a Chardonnay of theirs that wasn’t great.

No skin in this game, but when so many folks on this board purchase from a single producer, you are bound to have tons of notes posted, including those that are not as favorable as others. Seems natural to me.


People say that they want honest tasting notes, but I think many people also want confirmation. I’ve seen plenty of people attacked for a tasting note that is outside the mainstream, which I think is a bit silly. Unless the note is factually wrong (rare) a preference is merely that, nothing more.

Yep, I believe this happens a lot more than what most people believe. I also sense this is a reason that there are many more lurkers on this board then active participants :slight_smile: just a guess though.


I don’t think that this is the main reason why we have so many lurkers. While people get attacked for putting up a note outside the mainstream or some such nonsense, generally Wine Talk is a lot more civil than, say, the Politics subforum and even than the Asylum. My guess is that many people are intimidated to post because they don’t want to be found out for a lack of knowledge. There are a lot of posters that have been drinking fine wine for decades and that can be daunting for someone who is first getting into wine, which likely causes many folks to read and not post.

Just my supposition of course.

Great points and I agree wholeheartedly. I think it’s a combination, but what you pointed out is probably the most prevalent reason. And though things certainly are more civil in wine talk than other parts of the board. I do here from folks first hand that the occasional lack of Civility is another reason they tend to lurk.

Interesting. I am of two minds about this sort of thing. I would want WB to be a welcoming environment, but I also think it would be a less dynamic place if it was a sanitized environment. I think some amount of ego clashing is actually a positive thing, though not when it turns personal.

Don’t you guys know that you just need to let these age longer… :wink:

I had always hoped that the rancor of two veterans arguing about the merits Volnay and Pommard wouldn’t dissuade a newbie from asking about Cali Chardonnay. The more pointed contentious arguments rarely seem directed at someone new that is only seeking knowledge.
That being said, I understand the intimidation factor.

Thanks for the note Corey, looks like I drank one of these back in May and based on my notes I enjoyed it a bit more than you did, but that’s part of the fun of wine right?

Also worth noting that this is wine is classified as an appellation and is priced accordingly so personally the qpr is right where it needs to be for me. Curious if you’ve had any of the SV chards and how you liked or disliked those compared to this? Would be good reference to know your palate and preferences.

Surprised nobody suggested you had a “bad bottle” or didn’t decant it or didn’t serve it at the correct temperature, or that it was damaged in shipment. No, sometimes it really is about the wine.

I’ve had a few SVDs over the years and, generally speaking, liked them better for being leaner/racier/more minerally.

All in all, I’m not sure I find huge value in California Chardonnay (and I say that as someone who drinks old world/new world about 50/50). I often find that I can get what I want out Chardonnay in Muscadet (obviously a different grape), I get 95% of the enjoyment at 25% of the price.

Agree 100%

I have one Cali Chard in my entire “collection”.

Clearly you needed to slow-ox this while shipping it to yourself. Rookie mistake.

Nice nose of flint, lemon peel, and just a hint of butterscotch. Nice oily texture and balancing acidity on the palate. Still young and I think will stay strong for several years, but not sure it will pick up more complexity.

Obviously liked it more than Corey!