Saxum Vineyards is located in the Paso Robles AVA of Central California. Founded in the early 2000’s by Justin Smith, a young winemaker who had previously been part-owner of Linne Calodo, Saxum leapt into the limelight in late 2010 when its 2007 James Berry Vineyards wine was named the #1 Wine of 2010 by Wine Spectator. Smith owns the winery with his wife Heather, and produces up to 2,800 cases of wine a year.
The James Berry Vineyard is the Smith family’s estate vineyard. It is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean with an average elevation of 1200 feet. This particular bottling is 57% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre and 12% Syrah. The wine was not decanted.
Blood red in color. 15.8% ABV. Spellbinding nose of dark fruits, violets, espresso and grilled meats. Full bodied with exquisite acidity and notable balance. Lush, rich and seductive. Raspberry liqueur, kirsch, cassis, cracked pepper and minerals on the palate. The finish on the wine is long, vibrant and intense. The Grenache is the hero in this version of James Berry. Such a high bar when I open a bottle of Saxum and this wine delivers on all accounts. Best over the next 2-3 years.
My rating: 97 points.
Current wines from Saxum are available via the mailing list at $98 per bottle. There is at least a 5 year wait before you can expect to receive an offer.