The 2006 Broken Stones (63% Syrah, 24% Grenache, and 13% Mourvedre) blew me away. An inky/purple color and a dazzling, explosive bouquet of black raspberries, camphor, cassis, forest floor, and spring flowers are followed by a rich, elegant wine offering laser-like precision as well as a striking minerality. It is a powerful yet graceful effort that should drink well for 10-12+ years. One of California’s super-star producers, Saxum owns one of the state’s most remarkable vineyard sites, the James Berry Vineyard, which has been broken into a number of different blocks, all planted on rocky limestone hillsides. This estate’s approach to winemaking is decidedly artisanal, with extraordinarily small yields as well as a minimalistic winemaking philosophy. (RP)
Offers waves of ripe, exotic dark berry fruit, with wild berry, raspberry and blackberry jam notes that are full-bodied, rich and intense, pure and focused, ending with a long, complex, persistent finish. Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. *Top 100 of 2009, Highly Recommended* (JL)
(63% Syrah, 24% Grenache and 13% Mourvèdre) Ruby with a bright rim. Wild, pungent aromas of spicy red and dark berries, olive, incense and fruitcake. Surprisingly lithe on the palate, conveying an almost Pinot-like silkiness. Sweet black raspberry and kirsch flavors are brightened by dusty minerals, becoming livelier with aeration. A strikingly elegant, focused wine that finishes with outstanding tangy lift, cut and persistence. This was raised in 50% new barriques. (JR)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)