2016 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard

2016 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard

by JJ Buckley Fine Wines


2016 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard

On Sale: $99.94  (was: $109.94)*

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Most people go looking along the Sonoma Coast to find California’s answer to grand cru white Burgundy, but Rhys Vineyards has proved that holy grail might be hidden up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Wine Advocate has called Rhys’ Chardonnays “among the best being produced in North America”, but the bulk of their production is snapped up by a tightly allocated mailing list. This 2016 Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay is a rare treat for us to offer, and it’s the perfect time of year for a special occasion bottle of this caliber. “One of the best whites Rhys has produced,” (Wine Advocate), this 96pt Chardonnay could go head to head with any number of grand cru Burgundies, but quantities are extremely limited.

The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to some of California’s most extreme coastal vineyards, with steep slopes and high elevations. Alpine Vineyard is one of the coolest sites that Rhys farms; yields are extremely low, and farming is biodynamic, so despite the cool climate, there is a textural richness to the layers of minerality, fruit, and spice. The usually old-world focused critic John Gilman has called Rhys’ Alpine Vineyard, “one of my very favorite white wine cuvées in all of California” and it’s honestly a steal given the quality here. Rhys Vineyards is simply “world class” (Galloni), and little else can match the magic they have found in the Santa Cruz Mountains!

96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard is a stunning young wine that's one of the best whites Rhys has produced to date. Opening up with vivid aromas of lemon oil, citrus pith, crisp apple and nutmeg, it's fuller-bodied, glossier and more textural than the Horseshoe bottling, with a broader attack as well. But it's also intensely saline and mineral, with wonderful concentration and intensity. Several years of patience will be rewarded by greater expressiveness and complexity, and I'd expect it to drink well for the better part of two decades thereafter. Drink 2020-2037" 

95 points, Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard is fascinating to taste next to the Horseshoe, as it is quite a more tropical and generous in feel. Even so, there is quite a bit of energy running through the passionfruit, pineapple and yellow stone fruit. The Alpine will appeal more to readers who enjoy oily, textured Chardonnays."

95 points, Jeb Dunnuck: "More rounded and elegant, the 2016 Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard offers beautiful notes of ripe orchard fruits, oyster shell, spice, and white flowers to go with an incredibly layered, seamless style on the palate. It’s more approachable than the Horseshoe Vineyard yet should age just about as long."

*Offer publication date November 24, 2021. Pricing and availability subject to change.