2011 Rhys "Skyline Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1171775 94 points John Gilman

 The Skyline Vineyard pinot noir from Kevin Harvey and his team at Rhys is just stellar in 2011, with its low octane personality (12.6 percent ABV!) delivering great minerality and nascent complexity on both the nose and palate. The wonderfully complex nose offers up a 'cool fruit' profile of cherries, beetroot, stony minerality, a touch of menthol, thyme, a bit of mustard seed, vinesmoke and a gentle base of new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and very intensely flavored, with a fine core of fruit, suave, seamless tannins, tangy acids and a very, very long and transparent finish. This is great wine in the making and a very grown up bottle of California pinot noir! (Drink between 2018-2040) 94+ points  (6/2013)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (60% whole clusters and 40% new oak): Deep red. Pungent, high-pitched aromas of raspberry, blood orange, sandalwood and fresh flowers. Juicy and sharply focused, offering penetrating red fruit and rose pastille flavors and a sexy Asian spice flourish. Subtly sweet, delicate and alluringly perfumed on the gently tannic finish, which shows superb clarity and length. This wine clocks in at 12.6% alcohol. (ST)  (5/2013)

93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 *Outstanding* Interestingly, this is much more reserved, indeed the nose is almost mute and only aggressive swirling liberates grudging notes of dried flowers and essence of red berries that are trimmed in soft spice nuances. There is strikingly good detail to the ripe and wonderfully intense medium weight flavors that possess excellent underlying material while offering terrific depth and length on the balanced but very backward finish. While this is not necessarily better than the Horseshoe today I suspect that the Skyline will ultimately be the better wine. Time will of course tell but what it clear is that both possess superb development potential. Drink: 2023+  (1/2014)

93 points Vinous

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Skyline Vineyard is all about tension, energy and length. Nothing in particular stands out in a wine that boasts terrific balance and pedigree. Readers will have to be patient with this superb, finely crafted Pinot. There is a lot to admire in the 2011's cool, mineral-driven personality, even if it will be a few years before the wine is ready to show all of its cards. The 2011 was made with 60% whole clusters. 93+ points. (AG)  (7/2013)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Skyline Vineyard is elegant and supple, with warm notes of forest floor, dried leaves, sweet cherries, game and spice all flowing beautifully to a medium-bodied, supple and seamless style on the palate. A very feminine style, with no hard edges, impeccably integrated acidity and superb overall integration and balance, this is one classy Pinot Noir that can be drunk anytime over the coming decade. (JD)  (4/2015)

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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.