The 2008 James Berry Vineyard (52% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre, and 17% Syrah) saw some of its Grenache aged in the concrete eggs that are now catching on among some of the top producers on California’s Central Coast. With strong minerality from the limestone soil, this exuberant, fleshy, full-bodied wine is already drinking well. (I believe it was actually bottled just a day or two before my visit, which makes its performance that much more remarkable.) Dense purple, with sweet notes of barbecue smoke and meats as well as roasted herbs, extravagant black cherry, black currant, and blackberry fruit are all present in this wine, but there is plenty of underlying structure that comes from both the minerality and the Mourvedre component. Pure, full-bodied, but again, impressively elegant and nuanced, this is a tour de force and another prodigious example of this extraordinary vineyard site.
Riveting aromas of fresh raspberry, mineral, wilted rose and wild berry turn firm and spicy, full-bodied and concentrated on the finish, yet the flavors dance with acidity. The purity of the crushed rock and snappy berry flavors is rivaled by the elegance and finesse evident in the texture, balance and length. Ends with a subtle touch of toasty oak and black licorice. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Drink now through 2024. 580 cases made
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.
As the #1 back-vintage retailer in the US, Benchmark Wine Group prides itself on being a trusted source for the greatest wines in the world. Their unparalleled market knowledge and exceptional service have come together to provide the most accessible cellar of rare and sought-after wines with a guarantee.