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)
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)
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)
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)
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