Sporting a vibrant ruby, semi-opaque color, the 2010 Saxum James Berry Vineyard is the most tight, backwards version of this cuvee that I can recall. A blend of 52% Grenache, 26% Mourvedre, and 22% Syrah, it has a decidedly savory bouquet of blackberry liqueur, kirsch, violets, bouquet garni, ground pepper, and graphite. Full-bodied and layered on the palate, with brilliant mid-palate concentration, superb freshness, and masses of tannin, this brilliant Rhône blend from Paso Robles will stand toe to toe with the best wines out there, but it is not for those seeking instant gratification and will require 4-5 years of bottle age. In 2010, the Grenache component was aged in a combination of concrete tank and oak puncheons, and this change shows in both the aromatics and texture, with less obvious sweetness and more freshness. It will evolve gracefully for two decades.
As it approaches its eighth birthday, the 2010 James Berry Vineyard Proprietary Red is drinking beautifully, wafting from the glass with complex aromas of smoky cassis, incense, burnt sage and dark chocolate. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and velvety, with an ample core of ripe fruit, fine-grained and resolved tannins and a long, intense finish. The cool season and extended hang time of the 2010 vintage conspired to produce a wine of unusual elegance but no lack of power. (WK)
Readers will have to be patient with the 2010 James Berry Vineyard. Still reticent and very tightly wound, the 2010 is in no mood to show the full breadth of its personality. There is wonderful purity to the Grenache-inflected red toned fruit, even if the wine remains reticent. All of the energy and tension I found in the wine last year remains present. If anything, the 2010 is even less expressive today than it was a year ago. The James Berry is 52% Grenache (done in concrete), 26% Mourvèdre and 22% Syrah. (AG) 96+
Glass-staining ruby. Ripe blackberry and cherry on the intensely perfumed nose and in the mouth. Dense but surprisingly energetic, offering sweet black raspberry and candied lavender flavors and a hint of cola. Supple tannins give shape to a long, sweet, strikingly lively finish, which echoes the floral note. (JR)
The intense, vivid blackberry, blueberry, pepper and spice notes are tightly focused and persistent in this red, ending with a long finish and tannins that give the flavors traction. Very pure and rambunctious, and should only get better with time. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. (JL)
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