2011 Saxum "Heart Stone Vineyard" Paso Robles Rhône Blend

SKU #1153175 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Heart Stone Vineyard is a blend of 58% Syrah, 37% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre that was brought up in mostly concrete, with 20% in puncheons. Showing beautifully from barrel, it didn’t disappoint from bottle and has a perfumed, elegant feel to its purple fruits, lavender, violets, white pepper and underbrush-like aromas and flavors. The whole cluster inclusion shows here, yet it has fantastic purity, fine tannin and integrated acidity. This was another great visit with Justin Smith, and he continues to tweak and experiment with varying degrees of whole cluster and concrete, puncheon and barrel aging regimes. Looking at his 2011s, I was able to taste all of these from bottles in Colorado, and they’ve closed down substantially since I reviewed them from barrel. In most cases, these took a day or more to fully unwind, and the style here is much more Rhone-like, with spice, pepper and meaty aromatics paired with focused, firm palate profiles. (JD)  (8/2014)

92-94 points Vinous

 The 2011 Heart Stone is delicious. A wine that literally bristles on the palate with energy, the 2011 is fresh, vibrant and beautifully articulated from start to finish. Savory herbs, licorice, mint and smoke are all layered into the vibrant, nuanced finish. The use of 60% stems gives the wine gorgeous aromatic lift and palate presence. This is a fabulous showing from Justin and Heather Smith. The 2011 is 58% Syrah, 37% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre done mostly in concrete (80%) with a dash of French oak. (Antonio Galloni)  (7/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque purple. Highly perfumed aromas of dark fruit preserves, violet, olive tapenade and cracked pepper, with an exotic blood orange nuance emerging with aeration. Weighty but surprisingly lithe on the palate, offering sweet blueberry and mulberry flavors and strong floral and spicecake accents. Closes spicy and long, with supple tannins making a late appearance and adding gentle grip. (JR)  (11/2013)

Wine Spectator

 A rustic, chewy version that puts tobacco, dried herb, dark berry and black licorice notes on display, The tannins cling and hang on, driving the flavors. (Web-2014)

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Price: $114.99

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Rhone Blends


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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.