Saxum James Berry Vineyard 2011
Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
Aromatically complex, with spices and dried herbs taking the forefront but red fruits are right behind. Think of eating strawberry rhubarb pie with a dried thyme crust while sitting next to a fresh cut bouquet of lavender and roses, that's the nose on it. The flavors follow suit, not extremely weighty on the pallet, it more dances around on your tongue, with a long clean focused finish that echoes strawberry and thyme. Graceful, if I was to summarize this wine with one word.
Blend: 69% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah, 2% Counoise, 1% Roussanne
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. Drink 2015-2026.
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.
International Wine Cellar - "Inky ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of red fruit liqueur, lavender and Asian spices, with a bright mineral overtone. Rich and fleshy but lively, offering intense raspberry and cherry-cola flavors and exotic star anise and floral pastille accents. Silky tannins sneak in late and add shape to a long, smooth and alluringly sweet finish. The grenache in this blend was raised in a large concrete vat."
Wine Spectator - "Pure, rich and deeply flavored, 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. Best from 2015 through 2026"
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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.