93 | Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Rhys Vineyards aspires to make great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from some of California’s most unique and expressive vineyards. This pursuit has lead them to search the state for exciting rocky soils that exist within the mountainous, cool, Coastal climate zone. Over the last 15 years they have developed seven estate vineyards, six in the Santa Cruz Mountains and one in Anderson Valley, each of which is capable of producing uniquely compelling, distinctive, soil driven wine.
Family Farm Vineyard is the result of special partnership between neighbors. Realizing the potential of its loamy clay soil and eastern aspect, in 2002 the Sletten, Martin, Sullivan and Harvey families decided to convert this former Christmas tree farm into a vineyard. The weather is very similar to our Home Vineyard, while the alluvial sand and clay soils are unique. Like many of the best vineyards in Burgundy, the East-facing aspect shelters the vines from the warmer afternoon sun, allowing the grapes to retain freshness and aromatic dimension.
Family Farm wines are powerful yet elegant with red and black fruit, and a distinctive stalky complexity that becomes integrated and floral with age. While they are typically charming and forward on release, they also age extremely well. The first vintage, 2004, has only recently reached full maturity.
Soil: Alluvial Clay Loam
Geology: Decomposed Butano Sandstone
Clones: 115, Pommard, Swan and 8 different “Suitcase” clones
2014 Family Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir - Critic Reviews
93 | Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media (July 2016)
"A striking, expressive wine, the 2014 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard wraps around the palate with serious intensity. The effect of the drought comes through in the wine's sheer weight and textural breadth. The 40% whole clusters are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. Black cherry, mocha, plum, graphite, sage and menthol give the 2014 much of its virile, imposing personality. The clay-rich soils here contribute to the wine's ample, creamy feel. Kevin Harvey adds that this site has been dry farmed for nine years."