The 2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard was the winning bottle in the March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. I did not decant this wine and it paired brilliantly with a homemade pepperoni pizza.
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.
Crimson in color. 15.8% ABV. 43% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 10% Counoise. Spellbinding nose of red and black fruits, licorice, flowers and white pepper. Medium to full bodied with perfect acidity. Power and concentration in spades. Kirsch liqueur, raspberry compote, creme de cassis and charred meats on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. There is an unmistakable and unexpected elegance to this wine. So much to like here. Best over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 96 points.
Current wines from Saxum are available via the mailing list at $98 per bottle. There is a several year wait before you can expect to receive an offer.
I’ve written about Saxum previously in Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and The 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.