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
(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)
*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+
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)
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)
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