Range: 94-96 Points"
Saxum James Berry Vineyard (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
The James Berry Vineyard is the Smith family's estate vineyard. It is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean with an average elevation of 1200 feet. It consists of a series of slopes with shallow clay loam topsoil covering an ancient seabed, complete with fossilized shells and sharks teeth. The cuvee is a red fruit driven, Grenache based blend, with a large portion of Mourvedre for texture, and Syrah as spicy support. The James Berry Vineyard blend is aged for 18-20 months in a variety of vessels. The Grenache portion ages in concrete tank and larger puncheons, while the Mourvedre and Syrah ages in the smaller French barrels. A high percentage of them are new. The wine is rich and layered. Raspberries and blackberries lead the way followed by Provencial herbs and smooth dense tannins. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 James Berry Vineyard is a lithe, lively and energetic example of this cuvee. Made from 69% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah, 2% Counoise (first vintage to have this variety) and a splash of Roussanne, with the Grenache brought up in concrete and everything else in puncheon, it offers up stunningly pure raspberry, blackberry, pepper, violets, flowers and spice to go with a full-bodied, elegant mouthfeel that builds on the palate. Seamless, pure and with fine tannin framing the finish, it will need short-term cellaring and drink beautifully through 2026.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Saxum's 2011 James Berry Vineyard is dark, rich and enveloping. At the same time, underlying veins of acidity give the wine its focus and length. Pomegranate, orange peel, sweet spices and leather are all very much alive in the glass. This is one of the more vibrant, polished young James Berry I can remember tasting. The 2011 should drink well right out of the gate, but also age gracefully for at least a handful of years. In 2011, the blend is 69% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah and dollops of Counoise and Roussanne. Half of the Grenache was done in concrete with a healthy dose (33%) of whole clusters.
Range: 94-96 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Inky purple. Heady, floral- and spice-accented scents of black and blue fruits, incense and licorice. Stains the palate with intense cassis and blueberry flavors that are lifted by vibrant spice and floral pastille nuances. Becomes sweeter and more energetic with air and finishes with superb clarity and length and smooth, fully absorbed tannins. This is on the short list of the best wines that I tasted from California this year."
Wine Spectator - "The intense, vivid blackberry, blueberry, pepper and spice notes Pure, rich and deeply ?avored, this muscular effort centers around penetrating blackberry, black licorice, charcoal and loamy earth notes. Ends with rustic, chewy tannins that will need a few years of cellaring to subside. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Counoise and Roussanne. "
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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.