2013 Rhys Vineyards "Horseshoe Hillside Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (750ml)

2013 Rhys Vineyards "Horseshoe Hillside Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (750ml)

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98 points John Gilman
The very first release of the 'Horseshoe Hillside' reserve bottling of pinot noir from Rhys Vineyards is utterly spectacular, with a more reserved personality than the regular bottling and even more precision and complexity. The great nose wafts from the glass in a bottomless mélange of sweet dark berries, a touch of grilled meats, bitter chocolate, a superbly complex base of soil tones, sweet herb tones, vinesmoke, an exotic touch of dried eucalyptus and a discreet framing of spicy oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and impeccably balanced, with a great core, stunning soil signature, suave tannins, good acids and outstanding length and grip on the long, nicely reserved and complex finish. There is a nice touch of youthful stems here that is not evident in the regular Horseshoe Vineyard bottling, but this wine is supposed to include the same percentage of whole clusters as the regular, and I imagine that this is just how the wine is showing at this early stage in its evolution. This is going to be an absolutely brilliant bottle of Pinot Noir with sufficient bottle age, but give it at least five or six years in the cellar to start to blossom before even considering opening a bottle! Not that it will not be delicious out of the blocks, but this is so clearly built for the long haul that it would be insanity to waste bottles early on! 98+ (8/2015)

97 points Vinous
Just as brilliant from bottle as it was from barrel, the 2013 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard Hillside hits all the right notes. Exotic, perfumed and structured, the 2013 exudes pedigree. Violets, lavender, dark spices and black cherries flesh out in a dark, sensual Pinot loaded with class. The flavors are vivid, nuanced and layered throughout. The 2013 boasts striking inner perfume, endless layers of fruit and an intense, palate-staining finish. Simply stated, the 2013 is a remarkable, deeply expressive, must-have wine from Rhys. (AG) (7/2015)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The deepest, richest and most concentrated release in the lineup, the 2013 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Hillside Vineyard is a cellar selection from the Horseshoe Vineyard that saw 25% whole cluster (they rarely use much whole cluster from this site), and 17 months in 50% new French oak. It's an intense, layered and vibrant effort that has tons of red and exotic blue fruits, violets, underbrush and subtle minerality. At this point, its fruit and texture are front and center, yet it has terrific mid-palate depth, a vibrant, taut texture and building tannin, all of which point to it evolving gracefully. Give it a year or two in the cellar and drink this beauty over the following decade or so. (JD) (10/2015)

95 points Allen Meadows - Burghound
A much more deeply pitched nose features notes of black cherry, cassis, earth and plum scents that are trimmed in plenty of spice elements that include anise, clove and sandalwood along with a hint of hoisin. The big, rich and bold broad-shouldered flavors possess outstanding volume, size and weight all while remaining focused and harmonious on the robust, intense and very firmly structured finish. There is a remarkable amount of dry extract buffering the prominent tannic spine and it coats the palate and imparts a sappy character to the borderline chewy finale. It's rare that I suggest an initial drinking window of more than 10 years for the vast majority of US pinots but in this case it is warranted. If you're going to buy this do so with the intention of cellaring it for at least the medium-term. In short, this is a very serious 'wow' wine that is an absolute knock-out! *Outstanding* (4/2016)