One of the greatest GSM blends to ever come out of California is the 2016 James Berry Vineyard, which is 55% Grenache, 24% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah, and 8% Counoise. This sensational wine reminds me of the 2016 Mon Aïeul from Pierre Usseglio with its awesome perfume of sweet blackberry and cassis fruits, smoke meats, exotic spice, licorice, and garrigue-like aromas and flavors. Deep, rich and layered on the palate, with a massive core of sweet fruit, this beauty builds with time in the glass and has incredible purity of fruit, a mix of richness and elegance that's hard to describe, sweet tannins, and a huge finish. It's every bit as impressive as the 2007 was on release. Hats off to Justin Smith for this incredible wine! I finished my note with “the greatest GSM blend from California, ever.”
Plush, polished and dynamic, with complexly layered blackberry, violet, garrigue, crushed stone and smoky pepper flavors that build richness and spirit toward refined tannins. *Top 100 Wines of 2019, Highly Recommended* (TF)
The 2016 James Berry Vineyard Red is a blend of 55% Grenache, 24% Mataro, 13% Syrah and 8% Counoise. It was made with 24% whole cluster and aged 21 months in 82% new French oak. Medium to deep ruby, the nose is super intense: cranberry jelly, raspberry, strawberry and red cherry jam aromas mingle with notes of spun sugar, orange oil, dried flowers, potpourri and loads of amaro accents. Medium to full-bodied, intense, layered and super pretty in the mouth with all those high-toned accents, it has a super finely grained frame, addicting freshness and a very long finish. This is on fire! (EB)
Brilliant ruby. An intensely perfumed, sharply delineated bouquet evokes ripe raspberry, blueberry, allspice, candied lavender and incense, and a zesty mineral overtone gains strength as the wine stretches out. Stains the palate with appealingly sweet red and blue fruit flavors that show impressive depth as well as vivacity, thanks to a spine of juicy acidity. The extremely long, floral-driven finish is given shape by fine-grained tannins that are quickly absorbed by the intense, concentrated fruit. (JR)
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