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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard 2010

Rhone Red Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • WS94
15.7% ABV
  • RP97
  • WS94
  • RP96
  • V92
  • RP96
  • WS95
  • RP93
  • RP98
  • WS97
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • RP94
  • WE92
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15.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

There is great flavor and tannin development in the 2010 Heart Stone Vineyard. Saxum was able to bring in some incredibly complex but intense fruit that was a pleasure to work with in the cellar. Speaking of the cellar, in 2010 Saxum purchased a whole slew of concrete fermentors and were extremely happy with how well they turned their fruit into wine. The concrete definitely helped in softening up the prodigious tannins of 2010 and allowed the winery to keep the wines fresher and more focused. It is a lovely combination.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Offers a broad range of dense, earth- and mineral-laced cranberry, raspberry and wild berry, touching on berry pie and black licorice. Ends chewy. Syrah and Grenache. Drink now through 2024. 400 cases made.
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Saxum
Saxum, Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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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.

Adelaida District

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Covering the Santa Lucia Range in the northwestern portion of the greater Paso Robles appellation, the Adelaida District AVA reaches from 900 feet to over 2,000 feet in elevation. Top grapes of the appellation include Mourvèdre, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache and Merlot.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

DRS123803_2010 Item# 123803