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Pinot Noir 'Horseshoe Vineyard', Rhys Vineyards

– All estate fruit from Horseshoe Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains

– 1,450 – 1,610 ft. in elevation

– Monterey shale soils

– 100% destemmed fruit

– Foot-tread twice a day, no punch-downs or pump-overs

– Aged in 40% new French oak for 18 months

Planted in 2004 with a total of 17.5 acres, Horseshoe Ranch is our most beautiful vineyard site. It is less than 1/2 mile from Alpine vineyard, but they are different in many ways. The ridge between the vineyards protects Horseshoe from some of the direct ocean influence but allows for similarly cool temperatures. More importantly, Horseshoe lies on a ridge of sedimentary shale called Monterey formation that has made its way to surface over the millenia. This lightweight, brittle rust-mottled shale is prevalent throughout the surface and soil providing for low vigor and outstanding drainage.

The wines produced at Horseshoe are uniquely minerally, precise and focused. They offer an almost palpable tension that greatly rewards aging.

United States
Santa Cruz Mountains
Pinot Noir

Press & Reviews


May 2018
The 2016 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Hillside Vineyard is also exceptional, and if anything, even more youthfully coiled and reserved than the Alpine Hillside bottling, wafting from the glass with complex aromas of peony, raw cocoa, sweet wild berries and grilled meat, complemented by ineffably savory, umami-like bass notes. When I speculated that it was showing some very subtle reduction, Harvey and Brinkman suggested—persuasively—those savory qualities simply represented an amplification of the aromatic signatures found in the regular Horseshoe bottling. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with incredible concentration and purity, concluding with a focused and stony finish. Again, 5 or 6 years of cellaring will be required here, and a decade will be recommended.

Vinous Media

August 2018
Even better than it was from barrel, the 2016 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard is a flat-out stunner. Crazy, beautiful, deeply spiced aromatics literally explode from the glass. Broad and ample on the palate, with tremendous intensity, the Horseshoe has a lot to offer. Orange peel, mint and spice overtones add an exotic flair. This is an utterly captivating Pinot Noir from Rhys.