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Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard 2011

Rhone Red Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • RP96
750ML / 14.8% ABV
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750ML / 14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's 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.

Range: 94-96 Points

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Saxum
Saxum, 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.
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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. The appellation does well with Rhone and Bordeaux varieties as well as Zinfandel.

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

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 is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

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