Which Rhys chard to open - 09 Alpine or 10 Horseshoe?

Tasting notes have me thinking the Horseshoe probably more approachable now. Agree?

You may have seen my tasting notes, not sure. But paradoxically perhaps, I would probably go for the 10 Horseshoe over the definitely young 09 Alpine. Difference in styles here. However, the safest bet would probably be to not open either yet, depends on how many you have.

IMO, serious infanticide opening either of these wines…

If you are compelled to pop one, decant and ignore for 1/2 hour.


We had the 09 Alpine recently by mistake, thankfully I opened it hours before service was planned. Day #1 it had qualites like some Aubert Chardonnay wines and it was well received by all. Perhaps 1/3 of the bottle saw day two and the nose was explosive but the wine had lost some heft and seemed a bit more sedate to drink.

We opened the 2009 Alpine on Thanksgiving and thought it was very tight for the first hour or so. It relaxed somewhat, but I won’t open another for at least a year.

IMO, only minor infanticide in the case of the 10 Horseshoe. To me, infanticide means you are drinking it before it has developed complexity or nuance or balance, but the 10 Horseshoe had all of these. Not to say it is the same wine as it will be in 7 years, however. The '09 Alpine, however, while very good, was pretty closed up and less expressive…

I take a different approach here. I would say both are fine right now, although it’s been more than a year since I opened the 10 'Shoe. I did have the 09 Alpine a few months ago and thought it drank fine, although a bit of oak signature on it which I presume would soften out in time. I’d guess the Shoe would show less of that, based on my note. My notes are below if it helps, Ethan.

  • 2009 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (9/2/2013)
    Have not enjoyed this wine since I was at the winery in 2011. Opened last night over dinner without a decant. Had a decent chill on it so got to see the wine at a spectum of temperature as we dined outside. I’d call this medium bodied, bouyed by moderate acidity of lemon peel. The fruit is a mix of pear, leaner pineapple and yellow apple. Where the wine still shows some youth is in the coconut from the oak, that is in the aromatic and palate. All taken together, this drinks pretty well now, save the oak, and with time and that last bit of oak fading into the wine, I’d say the best time to hit this would be 2015-2016. I don’t see the wine fading as the balance is here.
  • 2010 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (4/6/2012)
    April 2012 Rhys Visit–Taste The 2010s (Rhys Estate (At The Winery)): Bottle was opened earlier in the morning, tasted in late afternoon. Listed alc 13.4% with 25% new wood. Mineral, orange blossom, mandarin orange, lean pineapple, green apple and honey. Has a rich element to the fruit but the acid holds it all together. Not as intense as the 2010 Alpine chard but I enjoyed this a lot.

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks all! Will go for a Horseshoe…have a reasonable amount of that in the cellar.

Ethan, please come back with a note/impressions if you can. I would like to see that, as it would help me in return think about how to approach my 10 Shoe chards. Enjoy!

Will do, though will not be for a few weeks (just putting in the pull request now, etc, etc)

Ahh, a planner. OK. Are you a Cellartracker user?

Please ignore-- Pinot entered this thread by error
We’ll open '10 Horseshoe tonight with dinner, so notes will follow. [cheers.gif]
Initial note (Decanting in bottle, waiting for dinner):
This is dark purple, dark dark… fruity (very fruity? we’ll see later this evening). It is dominant on the cherries (fair disclosure: I am biased, positively, to this smell). Nice balance on the palate. Let’s give it 90 minutes now and see. [basic-smile.gif]

I think you might have a tainted bottle… have not tried a horseshoe chard that’s dark purple… :wink:

Yep, I should recall the definition of dark purple (but this is dark). I’d look at my color scale to make my mind again…(oh, and let me turn on the light in the living room and not use the one from the library? [shock.gif] )

Just started prep. steak. We’ll come back (I’d just take a picture later)

Your Pinot Noir has mistakenly stumbled into a Chardonnay thread. neener

I was too busy watching the steak to notice the punch line…


Notice that now. Oh well, I will add the tasting note to the wine of the day thread… and would check the thread twice before I post next time. Chardonnay discussants, please ignore pileon

Tasting notes are now posted in the right spot. My apologies for the thread confusion, and Ethan- please open the bottle and share your notes…

Now I gotta open that chard to complete the thread.

Funny, I was having the same debate between the '08 Alpine and ’ 09 Horseshoe chards…

I have had the 09 Horseshoe twice in the last month. Give it an hour decant, really makes a difference. But I think it’s drinking very well now.

That is good to hear :slight_smile: