Range: 97-99 Points"
Saxum Broken Stones Paso Robles 2011
Rhone Red Blends from California
Little lighter in color, but still quite dark, and a little lower in alcohol, but still comparatively weighty. The aromatics are what is magical on this set of wines, the cool temperatures kept them amazingly fresh and ethereal. De?nitely on the spice side as opposed to the fruit aspect that we normally see more of in a warmer year. In the cellar, Saxum tried to respect this character of the 2011 vintage. Saxum used a little more whole cluster fermentation to soften the tannins and increase the spiciness and we cut down on the amount of new oak we would normally use to let the spice shine through even more. The increased amount of concrete aging vessels used to really bring it all home with an exclamation point!
The Wine Advocate - "Coming mostly from a cooler block on James Berry Vineyard, the 2011 Syrah Broken Stones (78% Syrah, 18% Mourvedre and 4% Petite Sirah) has off-the-hook purity and focus. Aged in two-thirds new puncheons, it delivers a stunning aromatic display with complex blueberry, pepper, flowers, potpourri and spice being just some of the notes emerging from the glass. Full-bodied, textured and rich, it’s the purity that really sets this apart.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The Syrah-based 2011 Broken Stones is striking. Savory herbs meld into plums, cassis, black olives, tobacco and smoke as the wine opens up in the glass. This is a relatively mid-weight style for Saxum. Cool, bracing notes of minerality give the wine much of its energy and focus. The combination of Paso richness and the vibrancy of the vintage as interpreted by Justin Smith yield a drop-dead gorgeous, compelling wine. The 2011 is 78% Syrah, 18% Mourvedre and 4% Petite Sirah, 50% James Berry and 25% each Booker and Paderewski vineyards.
Range: 94-96 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Inky purple. Sexy aromas of blackberry liqueur, candied cherry, potpourri and a hint of olive tapenade. Offers sweet black and blue fruit flavors and a velvety texture, with slow-building smokiness and a touch of bitter chocolate. Fine-grained tannins add shape and grip to a long, juicy, dark fruit-dominated finish."
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Saxum Vineyards is focused on producing Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre based blends from the Templeton Gap of Paso Robles, California. We let our rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, and cooling ocean breezes speak through our wines by keeping our yields extremely low, picking fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar. Production is kept at a total of 2200-2800 cases per year divided between 6 different cuvees, Broken Stones, Heart Stone Vineyard, James Berry Vineyard, Booker Vineyards, Rocket Block and Bone Rock. View all Saxum Wines
About Other CaliforniaView a map of Other California wineries
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few. Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.