This “Rhone-y” red is 58% Syrah, 42% Grenache. Owner/winemaker Derek Beitler drew from three cool-climate Sonoma vineyards to make 500 cases of Skyhook Red Wine. I think the name Skyhook and the label take most down a path of expectation that requires a u-turn. Let me explain…an army of jammy, sweet-spice, soft red blends, a la The Prisoner, have taken the copy-cat highway to wine production and sales success. While Skyhook may look like one of these copy cats, it doesn’t taste like it. It has more in common with a spicy Paso Robles Cal-Rhone than an uber-ripe “modern red blend.”
A little tight just-opened, give it a ten minute resuscitation then smell & taste finger-staining blueberries, very dark & ripe strawberries, oil-cured black olives and cracked black peppercorn. A few seconds later the black licorice, dark soy sauce and espresso come by for a quick hello. Lots going on in a sweet harmonic melody. Best drinking: now to 2022.
Owner/winemaker Derek Beitler launched Bodega Rancho/JDB Wines in 2007, took a break for a while, then re-launched the label with the 2014s. These are all tiny lots of cool-climate single vineyard wines. They are consistently full of character and flavor that, I find, lovers of the savory (black olive, roast coffee, earthy spices) particularly enjoy.