Saxum James Berry Vineyard 2019
The cuvee is a red fruit driven, Grenache based blend, with a large portion of Mataro for texture, and Syrah as spicy support. The wine is rich and layered. Raspberries and blackberries lead the way followed by Provincial herbs and smooth dense tannins.
Flaschengröße (Liter): 0,75
Land: USA, Kalifornien
Vineyard(s)/Apellation: James Berry Vineyard, Paso Robles Willow Creek AVA
The James Berry Vineyard is the Smith family’s estate vineyard. It is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean with an average elevation of 1200 feet. It consists of a series of slopes with shallow clay loam topsoil covering an ancient seabed, complete with fossilized shells and sharks teeth.
Winemaking: Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Rebsorten: 58% Grenache, 27% Mataro, 6% Syrah, 6% Graciano, 3% Counoise
The James Berry Vineyard is aged for 18-20 months in a variety of vessels. The Grenache portion ages in concrete tank and larger puncheons, while the Mataro and Syrah ages in the smaller French barrels. A high percentage of them are new.
Alkohol % vol.: 16
Allergene: Enthält Sulfite
NOTES FROM JUSTIN: This is the real deal. If you're a fan of Saxum James Berry, this is your wine. Just promise me you will cellar some bottles for a couple of years. I think this one has some wheels and will only get better and better with age.
These 2019 wines have a little something for everyone, which is why I think I like them so much. Lifted, fresh aromatics of sage and spice and fruit. Along with lots of rich California fruit, deep textures, smooth tannins and lively acids that keep it all harmonizing so well. These days there are so many great wines out there that have one or the other. Rich, smooth tannins, or fresh, spice/fruit driven aromatics. I find it rare to have both, and frankly, that's my holy grail. What really piques my interest.
Abfüller: Saxum Vineyards, 2810 Willow Creek Rd, Paso Robles CA 93446, USA
Importeur und Verantwortlicher Lebensmittelunternehmer: Apell Weine, Martin Apell, Ahnatalstraße 125, 34128 Kassel, Deutschland
Jeb Dunnuck, Sept 2022
"Rating: 99 Drink: 2025-2050 The 2019 James Berry Vineyard checks in as 58% Grenache, 27% Mataro, 6% Syrah, 6% Graciano, and 3% Counoise that spent 21 months in 79% new French oak. It would stand up in a lineup of top Châteauneuf du Pape and has a gorgeous bouquet of black raspberries, ground pepper, flowery incense, and loamy earth. Pure, full-bodied, ultra-fine, and seamless, it builds with time in the glass, has ripe tannins, and a great finish. It shines just as much for its elegance and class as it does for its power and richness. It needs to be forgotten for 3-5 years but will be a 20- to 25-year wine from this estate. I was able to taste three vintages from Saxum, the late release 2019s from bottle, the majority of the 2020 lineup from barrel, and a handful of 2021 barrel samples. As I wrote last year, the 2019s are just brilliant, ripe, hedonistic, magical wines, and these late releases only reinforce that opinion. Looking at the 2020s, this is clearly a challenging vintage, with many wines having subtle smoky nuances and firmer yet still ripe tannins. Justin commented that the lab numbers regarding smoke taint were very low, so I think these are safe wines that will offer plenty of pleasure, although this is not a vintage to hide in the cellar. The 2021s that I was able to taste were terrific, and this will clearly be another terrific vintage here. In addition, they’ve planted a new vineyard located just four miles off the Pacific, the Cayucos Ridge Vineyard, and I expect we’ll see more releases from that site in the future.
Tim Fish, Wine Spectator, May 2022
Rating: 98 Drink: now-2033 A powerhouse wine, deeply structured and a bit decadent, but not weighty. Plump with personality, this reveals bold blackberry, garrigue, dusky spices and smoked pepper tones, building richness on the long, polished finish. Grenache, Mataro, Graciano, Syrah and Counoise. Drink now through 2033. 1,615 cases made.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, July 2022
Rating: 97 Drink: 2026-2036 Saturated violet. Heady, smoke- and mineral-accented blackberry, kirsch, fruitcake and candied lavender aromas show fine delineation and pick up a botanical herb note with aeration. Sweet and energetic in the mouth, offering concentrated cherry and dark berry preserve, exotic spice and floral pastille flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. The impressively long, penetrating finish shows vibrant mineral cut, an echo of juicy blue fruit and well-judged tannins that sneak in late. At the risk of sounding like a skipping record, Justin Smith has, again, produced the strongest set of releases this year from Paso Robles. Yes, there’s plenty of competition out there, and the numbers grow every year, but the Saxum 2019s sit at the top of the vintage hierarchy yet again. Smith is constantly refining his winemaking techniques, with particular focus on how the wines are raised in his hillside tunnels. Concrete tanks and eggs as well as oak vessels of varying age, shape and size all come into play here, to consistently stunning results. This set of bottlings show the elegance of the vintage, combined with the depth and intensity of flavor that has long been the Saxum trademark. They should age effortlessly, like their outstanding 2018 siblings, a few of which were or are being released alongside the 2019s. A 222-acre property in the York Mountain AVA is now part of Saxum’s holdings and planting is under way, so expect lots more activity here in the coming years.
Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, March 2022
Rating: 96 Drink: 2022-2037 Medium ruby-purple, the 2019 James Berry Vineyard is an alluring blend of 58% Grenache, 27% Mataro, 6% Syrah, 6% Graciano and 3% Counoise. It has aromas of rhubarb, citrus peel, earth, bitters and tea leaves with a flourish of spicy accents. Medium-bodied, the palate is silky and fragrant with bursts of refreshing acidity calling you back on the long, spicy finish.