2010 Saxum "James Berry Vineyard" Paso Robles Rhône Blend

SKU #1120078 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Sporting a vibrant ruby, semi-opaque color, the 2010 James Berry Vineyard is the most tight, backward version of this cuvee that I can recall. A blend of 52% Grenache, 26% Mourvedre, and 22% Syrah, it has a decidedly savory bouquet of blackberry liqueur, kirsch, violets, bouquet garni, ground pepper, and graphite. Full-bodied and layered on the palate, with brilliant mid-palate concentration, superb freshness, and masses of tannin, this brilliant Rhone blend from Paso Robles will stand toe-to-toe with the best wines out there, but it is not for those seeking instant gratification and will require 4-5 years of bottle age. In 2010, the Grenache component was aged in a combination of concrete tank and oak puncheons, and this shows in both the aromatics and texture, with less obvious sweetness and more freshness. It will evolve gracefully for two decades. A benchmark estate for California, Saxum, under the helm of superstar winemaker Justin Smith, continues to produce some of the most compelling, profound wines on the planet. While Smith’s wines are always full-flavored and intense, there has been a stylistic change over recent vintages, with the wines showing more obvious tannin and structure, as well as additional minerality and savory qualities. These 2010s exemplify this change and are all serious, structured efforts that will need bottle age to blossom. (JD)  (7/2014)

96 points Vinous

 Readers will have to be patient with the 2010 James Berry Vineyard. Still reticent and very tightly wound, the 2010 is in no mood to show the full breadth of its personality. There is wonderful purity to the Grenache-inflected red toned fruit, even if the wine remains reticent. All of the energy and tension I found in the wine last year remains present. If anything, the 2010 is even less expressive today than it was a year ago. The James Berry is 52% Grenache (done in concrete), 26% Mourvèdre and 22% Syrah. (AG)  (7/2013)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Glass-staining ruby. Ripe blackberry and cherry on the intensely perfumed nose and in the mouth. Dense but surprisingly energetic, offering sweet black raspberry and candied lavender flavors and a hint of cola. Supple tannins give shape to a long, sweet, strikingly lively finish, which echoes the floral note. (JR)  (11/2012)

94 points Wine Spectator

 The intense, vivid blackberry, blueberry, pepper and spice notes are tightly focused and persistent in this red, ending with a long finish and tannins that give the flavors traction. Very pure and rambunctious, and should only get better with time. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Best from 2014 through 2026. (JL)  (3/2013)

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Rhone Blends

Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.
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