Tasted on two separate occasions, just before and then after bottling, the 2013 Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard comes from an east-facing, cooler parcel in the James Berry Vineyard that's harvested very late. It is an extraordinary wine (100% destemmed Grenache) that was fermented and aged in concrete for a year before being moved to used barrels. Only bottled in 2003 and 2005 previously, the 2013 sports a medium ruby, mostly opaque purple color to go with ethereal notes of black raspberries, kirsch, currants, ground herbs, flowers and incense. Like all of Justin's 2013s, it leans towards the elegant and finesse-driven side of the spectrum, yet it has insane levels of purity, fine tannin, no hard edges and a sensational finish. Forget bottles for 3-4 years and drink over the following decade. (JD)
Opaque ruby. Explosive, spice-accented aromas of red berry preserves, rose oil and star anise develop a smoky mineral element as the wine opens up. Sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering deeply concentrated raspberry liqueur, cherry and spicecake flavors with a subtle touch of cola on the back half. Velvety tannins add shape to the powerful, incisive finish, which leaves behind notes of crystallized red fruit and floral pastilles. (JR)
Impeccably built, combining a dense, structured core with rich and polished fruit. Aromas of blackberry and floral herb combine with smoky sandalwood and spice notes. Hands off for now. Best from 2018 through 2029. (TF)
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