2008 Rhys "Skyline Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky ruby. Pure, expansive aromas of blackberry, violet and rose petal, with a hint of black olive. Juicy, penetrating dark berry flavors are strikingly spicy and gain sweetness with air. More open than the Horseshoe Vineyard now, showing excellent finishing clarity and power.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Syrah Skyline Vineyard, which I tasted from barrel last year, has turned out well. This dark ruby-colored, tightly knit, delicately styled Syrah possesses pure black cherry and black currant fruit intermixed with hints of underbrush and tapenade, sweet tannin, and an impressive attack and mid-palate. The tannins will need to be watched, but everything appears to be in balance. The wine was made from 100% stems and aged in 25% new French oak. (90+, RP)
Producer note: The estate wines of Rhys Vineyards are made from organic and biodynamically farmed fruit. Owner Kevin Harvey and winemaker Jeff Brinkman continue to fashion truly remarkable wines, indeed they are consistently among the best examples that California has to offer. At each of their vineyards sites over 75% of the land is left in a completely natural state. In addition to the native wildlife, they plant herbs, flowers, vegetables and grain crops while free ranging chickens and sheep also help naturally fertilize the vineyards. This is all part of their philosophy that creating a living soil creates better wine. Their winemaking process, from harvest to bottling, is based on a gravity system and the wines are never pumped, fined, or filtered. Readers should be aware that the Rhys wines are clearly fashioned in a built-to-age style and thus are most assuredly not intended to show their best young. Thus, I would suggest that if you're going to buy them, do so with the intent to allow for at least a few years of bottle age.