Range: 94-96 Points"
Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard 2011
Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
The Heart Stone Vineyard is a small 7 acre vineyard planted on a gentle South slope of limestone and shale. With 8 different clones of Syrah, 4 of Grenache and 1 Mourvedre, we aim to produce a wine that is both compelling and complex. We typically co-ferment all the varieties together with a high proportion of whole clusters, producing a tannic and spicy wine that has great purity and complexity. We age this wine with very little new oak in mostly larger puncheons for 20-28 months. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Heartstone Vineyard is a blend of 58% Syrah, 37% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre that was brought up in mostly concrete, with 20% in puncheons. Fermented with 60% whole cluster, it’s gorgeously pure and perfumed, with energetic blackberry, violets, lavender, underbrush and pepper styled aromas and flavors that round into a full-bodied, seamless 2011 that finishes with ripe, yet firm tannin. Normally one of the most accessible early on, this 2011 will benefit from short-term cellaring and have a long life.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Heart Stone is delicious. A wine that literally bristles on the palate with energy, the 2011 is fresh, vibrant and beautifully articulated from start to finish. Savory herbs, licorice, mint and smoke are all layered into the vibrant, nuanced finish. The use of 60% stems gives the wine gorgeous aromatic lift and palate presence. This is a fabulous showing from Justin and Heather Smith. The 2011 is 58% Syrah, 37% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre done mostly in concrete (80%) with a dash of French oak."
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque purple. Highly perfumed aromas of dark fruit preserves, violet, olive tapenade and cracked pepper, with an exotic blood orange nuance emerging with aeration. Weighty but surprisingly lithe on the palate, offering sweet blueberry and mulberry flavors and strong floral and spicecake accents. Closes spicy and long, with supple tannins making a late appearance and adding gentle grip."
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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 Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
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.