Saxum Booker Vineyard 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Flirting with perfection, the 2016 Booker Vineyard is a classic bruiser from this vineyard that has overflowing notes of blackberries, blackcurrants, smoked earth, and violets. Checking in as 73% Syrah and 27% Mourvèdre (13% stems) brought up new barrels, it hits the balance with full-bodied richness, incredible purity of fruit, ultra-fine tannins, and a finish that won’t quit. If you’re lucky enough to have a few bottles, do you best to hide them in the cellar for 2-3 years.
The 2016 Booker Vineyard is made up of 73% Syrah and 27% Mataro. It was made with 13% whole cluster and aged 22 months in 60% new oak and 40% amphorae. Medium to deep ruby, it has inviting aromas of cassis, marionberry jam, baked blackberries and red cherry preserves with notions of dusty earth, Earl Grey tea leaves, earth and amaro. Medium to full-bodied, intense, layered and very pretty in the mouth, it has a firm, very finely grained frame and seamlessly woven freshness, finishing long and flavorful.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.