The other experimental cuvee is the 2006 '32' James Berry Vineyard. A blend of 43% Syrah, 38% Grenache, and 19% Mourvedre aged 32 months in small barrels and demi-muids, it boasts loads of kirsch liqueur, lavender, pepper, spice box, and earth characteristics along with a voluptuous texture and stunning richness. Sadly, there are fewer than 100 cases of this gorgeous wine. 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 artisinal, with extraordinarily small yields as well as a minimalistic winemaking philosophy. Proprietors Justin and Heather Smith, who seem much too young to be producing such prodigious wines, fashion separate blends from the different blocks of the James Berry Vineyard. (RP)
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