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2008 Rhys "Skyline Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah

SKU #1080110 93 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark 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. Inner quote mark (11/2010)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (6/2010)

92 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark 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. Inner quote mark (11/2010)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark 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+ Inner quote mark (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."

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Price: $69.99
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