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Saxum James Berry Vineyard 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
  • RP97
15.8% ABV
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15.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

When tasting the James Berry Vineyard, dark cherries and red fruits lead the way thanks to the Grenache, but with the addition of a new block of Monastrell (Spanish clone of Mourvdre) there is this core of spice that is new to this wine. I love it. Of course it is wild and fruit driven with great chalky tannins, but this is a JBV more akin to the 10, it will greatly reward those of you with patience who will allow this wine to bloom.

Blend: 43% Grenache, 29% Mourvdre, 18% Syrah, 10% Counoise

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are 1,580 cases of the 2012 James Berry Vineyard and it reminds me of the 2009 Janasse Chaupin (which is one of Justin’s favorite wines). Incorporating more Mourvedre than normal, it’s made from 43% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 10% Counoise that’s aged in a combination of concrete and barrel. Rock star stuff, with fabulous black raspberry, cassis, spring flowers and charred meat aromas and flavors, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth, yet stays lively, incredibly pure and elegant, with lots of fine tannin emerging on the finish. It will benefit from 2-3 years in the cellar and have 15-20 years of ultimate longevity. Rating 97+
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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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Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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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.

YAO139027_2012 Item# 139027