Simply put, the 2009 James Berry Vineyard is one of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted from California, or anywhere for that matter. Bright, floral aromatics lead to expressive red fruit in this impossibly elegant, dazzling wine. A melange of rose petals, mint and licorice follows as the James Berry shows off its breathtaking clarity and finesse. Fine-grained, chalky tannins frame the exceptional finish. Frankly, I am surprised this is the first wine of the tasting. Where does one go from here? (AG)
Beautiful aromas of violets and sandalwood. Bright fruit too, with citrus, zest and mineral notes. Full, yet compacted and dense. Long and spicy yet minerally and fruity. Warm finish. So wonderful now but will age beautifully. Amazing elegance.
Strikingly complex, rich and fruity, this beautifully proportioned red delivers an initial burst of red berry fruit that echoes red and black licorice. This quickly gains traction and depth, with firm, layered tannins that give the spicy berry flavors a perfect foundation. *Top 100 Wines of 2012, Highly Recommended* (JL)
Deep, bright violet. Intensely perfumed black raspberry and blueberry on the nose, with seductive Asian spice, lavender and incense qualities emerging with air. Sappy red and dark berry liqueur flavors are lifted by juicy acidity picking up suave spice and floral pastille notes on the back end. Velvety tannins provide shape but are absorbed by the lush fruit, which carries through an extremely long, sappy, incisive finish. (JR)
The 2009 James Berry Vineyard has shown brilliantly since release, and it’s still going strong today. Based largely on Grenache, with 31% Mourvèdre and 12% Syrah, brought up in a mix of concrete and mostly used barrels, its still vivid purple color is followed by a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, wild strawberries, crushed violets, Asian spices, and herbes de Provence. Reminding me of a great Châteauneuf du Pape from the likes of Pierre Usseglio, it’s full-bodied, with a wonderful wealth of fruit, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s another stunning example of the brilliance of this terroir and winemaker.
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