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2012 Rhys Syrah Skyline Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SAN FRANCISCO BAY
  • 93 WA
  • Variety
    Syrah
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SKU: 366567-2012

This item is available by the case only

Total:
$95.00

This is a final sale item

Not eligible for cancellations or refunds

  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 93

    Slightly more supple and layered than the Horseshoe Vineyard release, the 2012 Syrah Skyline Vineyard offers impeccable balance in its mulled red and black fruits, orange blossom, toasted spice, licorice and underbrush-styled bouquet. Possessing a solid core of sweet fruit, it has plenty of ripe tannin, good acidity and no hard edges. There's a slightly rounded, rustic feel here, but everything is in the right place and it will come together nicely with another year in bottle. It will drink well for a decade.
    Author: Jeb Dunnuck
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  • Chiseled deep into a Santa Cruz Mountain hillside with such vast and echoing chambers that it's lovingly termed "the rebel base," Rhys Vineyards and its visionary owner are on a mission. It all started for Kevin Harvey, a Silicon Valley software entrepreneur with a Burgundy obsession, in 1995 when he planted a small Pinot Noir vineyard in his backyard, and has transformed into a quest to uncover the mysteries of his un-glorified appellation's geography and achieve world-class Pinot Noir.

    From his first garage wine, Harvey was struck with minerality that reminded him more of Burgundy than any domestic Pinot. So, using ambitious, biodynamic farming of tightly-spaced, high elevation, cool climate vineyards planted in specific sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains with shallow, rocky soils, preferably on hillsides, he set out to make the most mineral-driven, terroir-focused domestic Pinot. The results have garnered overwhelming praise from the entire spectrum of critical review. From Robert Parker to Allen Meadows, it's hard to find anyone who isn't impressed with this passionate operation producing perhaps the best New World Pinot anywhere.

    California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

    Syrah is one of the darkest and thickest-skinned varieties, producing wines with intense color, flavors of blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry, and high tannin. Depending on the climate in which it is grown and the winemaking techniques used, Syrah (known as Shiraz in Australia) can come in a wide range of styles. Regardless of style, use of heavy oak is common and the highest quality wines are suitable for long-term ageing.

    The best Old-World Syrah comes from the Northern Rhône, where the variety is at its coolest limit for growth. Sites with south-facing slopes are exposed to more sun and produce the highest quality wines with medium body and flavors of berry, hints of pepper and mint, and notes of olive, bacon, meat, and leather with age. Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage are the most famous of these sites, and producers such as E. Guigal, Chave, and Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné make some of the world’s best wines from Syrah.

    In the New World, Australia is the most famous region for high-quality wines from Shiraz. The warm climates of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale produce full-bodied, intensely fruity wines displaying notes of earth and spice and developing leather with age. A leaner, more peppery style is made in cooler regions with the best examples coming from Eden Valley. Australian producers such as Penfolds, Torbreck, and Henschke have garnered international recognition for making world-class wines from Shiraz.

    One cannot talk about New-World Syrah without recognizing the work of Californian producers, most notably Sine Qua Non, Colgin, and Alban, who have also gained international recognition for the quality of their wines from Syrah.

    The delicate flavors of cooler climate Syrah from the Northern Rhône and Sonoma make it an ideal pairing for dishes like lamb or eggplant. The bold flavors of warmer climate Shiraz from Australia pair well with barbeque pork and chicken, short ribs, and steak. 

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 48 bottles owned
    • 20 collectors