2011 Saxum "Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard" Paso Robles Syrah

SKU #1159101 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Decidedly cool climate in character, the 2011 James Berry Vineyard Bone Rock comes from steep, terraced plots of old head trained Syrah vines that, in 2011, wasn’t harvested until November. Co-fermented with a splash of Roussanne and Mourvedre, it’s a spectacular effort that makes the most of the cool, long growing season. It’s also the most long term prospect in the lineup. Offering up a tight, Cornas-like bouquet of black and blue fruits, white pepper, spring flowers and salty minerality, it is full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and seamless on the palate, with ultra-fine tannin and building richness that only starts to develop with a healthy decant. It’s a gorgeous wine, yet needs to be forgotten for at least 4-5 years. It should drink nicely through 2031. (JD)  (8/2014)

97 points Vinous

 The 2011 Bone Rock is the wine where all of the Saxum signatures intersect with the personality of the year to the fullest. A healthy dollop of Roussanne gives the Bone Rock extraordinary aromatic lift and nuance to balance the intense varietal fruit. Layers of dark plums, sage, rose petal, tobacco, new leather and spice blossom in an extraordinary wine of precision, power and depth. Expressive floral notes are woven throughout, adding to the wine's beguiling, complex personality. This is a fabulous showing from Saxum made all the more notable by the challenges of the year. (AG)  (7/2014)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky purple. Heady, floral- and spice-accented scents of black and blue fruits, incense and licorice. Stains the palate with intense cassis and blueberry flavors that are lifted by vibrant spice and floral pastille nuances. Becomes sweeter and more energetic with air and finishes with superb clarity and length and smooth, fully absorbed tannins. This is on the short list of the best wines that I tasted from California this year. (JR)  (11/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Classic notes of pepper and wild berry give this sturdy red plenty of backbone and tension. The tannins are more muscular and gripping than in recent vintages, giving the flavors traction and length. Drink now through 2026. (JL)  (2/2014)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
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.
Organic: