Benchmark Wines by

Saxum

The Winery

Saxum Vineyards

Saxum Vineyard’s founder, Justin Smith, is Paso Robles first vintner to be raised in the vines, and has developed a deep respect for each of his seven vineyard sites and the Rhone style wines he produces. The high quality, low yielding winery is credited for revolutionizing Paso Robles winemaking.

Their Templeton Gap/Willow Creek location is characterized by rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, perfectly sunny days and cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean. This Central Coast rock star focuses on producing Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre blends; crafting some of the most sought after and expensive wines in Paso Robles history.

The production is up to 4,000 cases with 38 of his wines scoring over 95 points by the Wine Advocate and Saxum’s 2007 James Berry Vineyard earning Wine Spectator’s 2010 Wine of the Year. Smith eagerly shares his experiences and knowledge with his neighbor winemakers and utilizes the help from his childhood friends in the cellar. Uniqueness and creativity is found on the bottle as their labels are crafted by a local artist, making it as highly expressive as their wines.

www.saxumvineyards.com

View all wines by Saxum

Tasting Notes

WA96
Reminding me of a top 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape (the 2010 Raymond Usseglio Cuvee Imperiale to be exact), the 2011 James Berry Vineyard is a blend of 69% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah, 2% Counoise, and a splash of Roussanne, that was aged in a combination of concrete (Grenache) and larger oak puncheons. A fresh, detailed and more elegant example of the cuvee, it offers gorgeous notes of ripe berry fruit, loads of exotic spice, violets, pepper and lavender to go with a full-bodied, beautifully pure and layered profile on the palate. It’s no blockbuster, but has loads of energy and tension, as well as class and refinement. Give it 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy it over the following decade or longer.

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