93 points John Gilman
"As I noted last summer, the 2013 Sky Zinfandel is a first class bottle and every bit as fine an example of Mount Veeder terroir as those illustrious Cabernets made just up the hill at Mayacamas! The bouquet is pure, soil-driven and complex and shows just how serious this varietal can be in the right hands, as it wafts from the glass in a classy blend of black raspberries, spit-roasted game, fine mountain soil tones, cigar smoke and a panoply of exotic spice elements in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely transparent, with a lovely core of fruit, suave, moderate tannins, tangy acids and great focus and grip on the complex and very, very promising finish. This is a serious, relatively low octane Zinfandel (13.4 percent) that is going to age long and gracefully, and though it is quite approachable today, its promise is too good to drink it without at least a bit more bottle age! I am late to the party for these lovely Sky Vineyards Zinfandel, but they are some of the most beautiful examples of this varietal still made in all of California and I cannot wait to visit the winery and really get a feel for what is going on here, as it is all very, very good!"
Vinous Reverie Notes
Since 1973, Sky Vineyards has been producing some of the most unique mountain Zinfandels and Syrahs to be found anywhere. Owner Lore Olds got his start in wine in 1971 working for such producers as Beaulieu and Mayacamas Vineyards before purchasing his own patch of land on top of Mount Veeder. Planted in red volcanic soil at 2100 feet, Sky is the highest vineyard on the mountain and produces wines of unmistakable character. Originally planted with 14 acres of Zinfandel, Lore has since added a small amount of Syrah. The vineyards are dry farmed and naturally tended using organic fertilizers, cover crops, birds, and beneficial insects. The winery itself runs on a single solar panel powering a single light bulb. In the cellar things are just as stripped down; grapes are pressed with an old wooden basket press, punched down by hand, aged in old French oak, and bottled by hand. Even the label is designed by Lore Olds with a new one for each wine and vintage. Now approaching Sky’s thirtieth year, there is no danger of Lore changing his tune. He still makes incredible wines that reflect the vintage and terroir and are capable of aging for a decade or more. These wines simply could not have come from anywhere else and there’s no point in comparing them to any others; they can only be described as Sky.
Planted at 2100 feet in volcanic soils way up on Mount Veeder, Sky makes a Zinfandel like no other. Spicy, wild, and balanced, it has nothing to do with the jammy Zinfandels that California has been known for. Ageworthy and expressive, they perfectly reflect this special terroir. Hand-harvested, manually crushed with a 100-year old basket press, and aged in 1-10 year old French oak barrels.