Reading Kevin Harvey’s suggestions for his ‘07s made me almost blush to pop this cork so early, particularly after I’ve chided all the trigger happy gluttons who’ve been complaining that their ’07 Chateauneufs ‘don’t seem that great’ at this juncture. That said, my resolve is feeble & curiosity is only curable by experimentation. Don’t worry Kevin, I decanted the hell out of it.
While I’ve got one single reference vintage (’06), this was undoubtedly more structured, taut and had a depth in its core that only augmented my curiosity w/ regards to its potential (time machine anyone?). While I’m certainly an advocate of what Calera, Arcadian & the like have done in the vein of restraint & elegance, even those stalwarts don’t seem to have the poise, precision & seamlessness of young Rhys. The few Rhys Pinots that I’ve prematurely sent to the abattoir have an effortless, unaffected sensibility about them. I don’t mean to suggest that cool climate, New World Pinot Noir typically tastes as if it were ‘trying to’ emulate something, but whatever Kevin Harvey’s doing obliterates affectation altogether. There is no ‘try.’
If that’s the case, keep up the ‘lack’ of work, Kevin What’s the oldest vintage you’ve got in the cellar? How’s she doin’?
Rhys Alpine Pinot '07
Its youth is obvious, though hardly painful in presentation. A bouquet in segments, with threads of flowers, olive and red cherry notes spread about an intricate tapestry. The core of the wine whispers, suggests its nature; veiled in a bright, flinty mystery that's awash in a nuanced, rocky river of minerality. Nothing but a hint, but what a view...and what finesse, 93+ points.