Easily the most massive, dense, and powerful wine of the evening, the 2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard is up there with the best of the best and certainly, one of the most monumental wines I’ve ever tasted. A blend of 41% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre, and 28% Syrah, it delivers a staggering array of red and black fruits, licorice, mineral, wood smoke, and floral qualities on the nose. Every bit as good on the palate, with full-bodied power, a weightless, detailed texture, and blockbuster length, this incredible effort is still an infant and needs another 2-3 years of bottle age; I wouldn’t be surprised to see it have upwards of two decades or more of ultimate longevity. Hat’s off to proprietor Justin Smith for this awesome effort.
Utter perfection, and one of the most profound Rhone Ranger wines I have ever tasted... As with many prodigious wines, the extraordinary freshness, purity, equilibrium, and singularity of this effort is breathtaking. Its dense purple color is accompanied by an extraordinary, incredibly pure, all enveloping, intense, sweet nose of black raspberries, kirsch, spring flowers, spice box, and pepper. Full-bodied with not a hard edge to be found, it is stunningly concentrated with unreal purity, a voluptuous texture, and remarkable freshness for a wine of such power, depth, and concentration. (RP)
An amazing wine, dense, rich and layered, offering a mix of power and finesse, with concentrated dark berry fruit, mineral, sage, herb and cedar notes that are pure, intense, focused and persistent. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. *Wine of The Year for 2010* (JL)
(41% grenache, 31% mourvedre and 28% syrah) Inky purple color. Spectacular nose combines black and blue fruit preserves, cola, smoky Indian spices and potpourri, with a vibrant mineral underpinning. Juicy, vibrant and focused, offering sweet boysenberry and blueberry flavors and suave floral pastille and allspice qualities. Deeply concentrated but lithe, with superb finishing clarity and a spicy, endless finish. I also retasted the 2006 James Berry Vineyard and it is in a highly expressive, juicy phase right now, with strong, sweet red and dark berry flavors and excellent clarity. I suspect that my score of 94 last year was low by a point. And the 2008 version, tasted from barrel, looks at least as good as this 2007. (JR)
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