11715 Skyline Blvd.
tel. (866) 511-1520
105 ac – 120,000 bt
The 2004 harvest was the first vintage released by entrepreneur Kevin Harvey’s Rhys Vineyards (pronounced REESE), one of the bright new stars of California winemaking today. Javier Tapia is the winery’s vineyard manager, Jeff Brinkman its winemaker and manager of its impressive underground cave.
When Harvey was scouting out locations to plant his vineyards and build his winery, he realized that the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is one of the few places in California where ancient seabed has been pushed to the surface by seismic activity. Skyline Ridge, which runs through the heart of the appellation, runs almost perfectly parallel to the San Andreas fault. The combination of ancient subsoils and high elevation make this area one of the best places in the state to grow “old world,” terroir-driven wines. All of the winery’s roughly 100 acres, including vineyards in Anderson Valley and Mendocino, are farmed using biodynamic practices.
There is perhaps no better price-quality ratio in California today than in the wines of Rhys Vineyards. The only issues collectors and wine lovers will en- counter with these wines is that they sell out swiftly. The Anderson Valley Chardonnay Alesia 2016 (Great wine) is one of the most elegant wines our editors tasted this year, with gorgeously balanced acidity, alcohol, and minerality and a spectrum of nuanced citrus and white fruit. The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Alesia 2016 represents another example of the extreme value to be found in Rhys Vineyards wines. With vibrant but genteel red and berry fruit, this wine has an electric acidity that bodes well for long-term aging.