Best of the Best 2016: Leisure | Domestic Red Wines: Rhys Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir Swan Terrace Santa Cruz Mountains

  • Ian Cauble

When Kevin Harvey left the lucrative software industry, he set out to make the best wines the Santa Cruz Mountains could produce. All the stars aligned. Through aptly chosen clones, a cool climate, and precise winemaking, he produces remarkable Pinot Noir. His 2013 Swan Terrace displays incredible aromas of wild berries, forest floor, black tea, and luscious spices—a classic, intense Pinot Noir perfume that is typically found only in a Grand Cru Burgundy. 

  • The 1.5-acre Swan Terrace vineyard is about 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, just south of Half Moon Bay. 
  • Made using 100 percent whole clusters, the wine is aged in a combination of new and used French oak.
  • Winemaker Jeff Brinkman works closely with Kevin Harvey and vineyard manager Javier Tapia to pick the grapes at ideal ripeness, which generally keeps his wines between 12 and 13.5 percent alcohol. This bottling is 12.2 percent. 

Rhys Vineyards, rhysvineyards.com ($99)

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