2007 Rhys "Skyline Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1108394 93 points John Gilman

 his was the first opportunity I had found to taste the 2007 Skyline pinot and it is a lovely bottle in the making. The first class nose offers up a complex mélange of cassis, cola, woodsmoke, a great base of stony soil tones and a nice touch of spicy oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full and just starting to blossom, with excellent mid-palate depth, lovely focus and balance, moderate tannins and excellent length and grip on the bouncy and beautifully poised finish. I would still try to exercise a bit of restraint and let this wine fully start showing off its secondary and tertiary layers of complexity, but would also understand those who cannot defer gratification any longer and would like to drink this lovely bottle today! But, this wine is emphatically still climbing, and as good as it is to drink right now, it will still improve if left alone in the cellar just a bit longer. (Drink between 2015-2035) 93+ points  (6/2011)

92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 In contrast to the heightened expressiveness of the Home, here the nose is quite reserved yet notably more complex with beautifully layered aromas of red, blue and black pinot fruit plus lovely dried rose petal notes that are also reflected by the big, robust and palate drenching flavors where the impressive dry extract completely buffers the firm stem tannins on the gorgeously long finish...I would note that all of these wines benefited substantially from extended airing, which means at least one hour in advance and two would be better - just remember not to let them warm up too much. Drink: 2015+ *Outstanding*  (10/2009)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Alluring perfume of red berry and cherry preserves, blood orange and Asian spices. Chewy, tightly focused redcurrant and cherry flavors are firmed by a bitter cherry skin quality and given bite by zesty minerals. Finishes with solid grip and an echo of spice and bitter cherry. The longer this was open, the sweeter and spicier it became, which bodes well for a patient collector. 92(+?) points. (ST)  (6/2009)

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Price: $109.99

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

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.


- 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.
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 RhĂ´ne varietals prosper as well.