2008 Rhys "Skyline Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah

SKU #1080110 93 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Beautifully suave and elegant, the 2008 Rhys Syrah Skyline Vineyard possesses classy aromatics of cassis and blackberry fruit that’s perfectly intermixed with violets, black pepper, and loads of chalk and mineral overtones. Amazingly pure on the nose, the wine is medium+ bodied on the palate, highlighting perfectly ripe fruit, an energetic, vibrant and seamless texture, grippy underlying structure, and a very long, focused finish. This shows more and more structure over the evening and is a stunning wine to drink over the next 10 to 15 years.  (11/2010)

93 points 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. (ST)  (6/2010)

92 points John Gilman

 Skyline Vineyard is very high in elevation at more than 2300 feet above sea level, with a very rocky soil that adds great minerality to the wines produced from this site. This is of course still young vines, and to my palate the pinot noir from Skyline is more expressive than the syrah at this early age. The 2008 Skyline Syrah is a very good bottle in the making, with a lovely structure and a fine sense of reserve that asks for a few years of cellaring before it will really begin to give up its secrets. The nose is deep and quite vibrant, as it offers up scents of black raspberries, dark chocolate, pepper, lovely, stony soil tones, a touch of fresh herbs and a gentle framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite adolescently reserved at the present time, with a fine core of fruit, ripe, well-integrated tannins and fine length and grip on the still quite youthful finish. Today the young vine character here seems to come across as a slightly less focused and detailed wine, (for this is certainly a wine without any mid-palate depth issues), but some of this character will diminish with further bottle age. This is a very good bottle of syrah that should age very gracefully, but its character just whets my appetite from when the syrah vines here get a few more years under their belt, for as good as the 2008 is going to be down the road (and it will be excellent at its peak), the 2015 vintage here is going to be a quantum leap up in quality.  (11/2010)

90 points 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. (RP) 90+  (2/2011)

K&L Notes

About the producer, from Allen Meadows of Burghound: "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."

Share |
Price: $79.99
Add To Waiting List

Real Time Inventory by location:

The item you have chosen is not in stock in our retail stores or within our main warehouse.

Product turnaround time varies by location of inventory and your chosen method of shipping/pickup. For a detailed explanation click here.

Additional Information:



- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5