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Professional Ratings: 94 The Wine Advocate, 92 Wine Enthusiast, 92 International Wine Cellar
Region: Central Coast, California
Varietal: Rhone Red Blends
Other Info: Collectible Wines, Boutique Wines
Alcohol By Volume: 15.7%
Item no. 115039
I am really happy with this wine. It strikes a great balance between big fruit and delicacy. The Grenache really comes through on the nose with tons of kirsch, the Syrah gives it great texture, and the Mourvedre adds some spice to the finish. Thanks to the great acidity, the purity of the wine shines through, yet like all of Saxums' wines, its got some weight, with a long life ahead of it.
The northern Rhone-like 2005 Heart Stone Vineyard is a blend of 44% Syrah, 33% Grenache, and 23% Mourvedre. A meaty nose with roasted Provencal herbs, cassis, blackberry, licorice, and smoke emerges from this Hermitage-styled effort. Structured and firm, it will benefit from 1-2 years of bottle age, and should evolve effortlessly for a decade or more. The bottled 2005s are all performing well.
One of the superstar, artisinal winemaking operations in Paso Robles is Heather and Justin Smith’s Saxum Vineyard. The Smiths are also the proprietors of the James Berry Vineyard, an exceptional hillside site planted in pure white limestone, a site that provides extraordinary richness, minerality, precision, and individuality. Like his colleague to the south, Manfred Krankl, Justin Smith has been moving from strength to strength, building more elegance and nuances into his wines without sacrificing their intrinsic intensity, purity, and richness. As for the 2006s, these wines are scheduled to be bottled slightly later than usual as Justin Smith is another producer who is instituting longer cask and pungeon agings. The 2007s tasted suggest this may be one of the finest vintages Saxum has yet produced. The wines are already spectacular, and will no doubt gain in weight, texture, and nuances over the next year.
The chocolate, cassis, cherry liqueur, licorice and smoky oak flavors are wrapped into smooth, rich, ripe tannins. Compulsively drinkable, almost a food group on its own, the wine is roughly equal parts Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre.
Deep ruby. Room-filling bouquet of red and black fruits, Asian spices, fresh violet and lavender and suave vanillin oak. Vibrant, palate-staining raspberry and blackberry flavors deliver sweet depth, with zesty minerality adding energy. Silky tannins slowly build on the long, spicy finish. Seamless and elegant; this is more open than the Broken Stones today.