2013 Saxum Syrah Booker Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This is a blend of 67% Syrah and 33% Mourvedre.  Consumed in the NY Jets stadium parking lot prior to the Monday night game between the Browns and the Jets.  A lot of fun.  While still very young, this was a perfect wine for the occasion.  Big, bold and delicious.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted herbs, plums and slight violets.  On the palate, this has a wonderfully rich texture.  The wine goes down easily.  It is also delicious.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with underlying char and a bit of pepper.  Great energy and balance.  Long finish.  Goes great with

2014 Torrin Syrah Kruse Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Torrin is a winery that despite critical acclaim, never seems to get the buzz of others from Paso Robles.  I guess that good as the prices remain reasonable and the wines obtainable.  Not that they are inexpensive.  But they are great!  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight smoke, and some roasted herbs and meat.  Wonderful texture.  This, juicy yet lively.  On the palate, this is still young.  Firm tannins.  It is drinking very well yet, it seems like there is a lot of development still to come.  It has at least another five years until peak.  It shoul

2011 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Mostly Syrah with a bit of Rousanne.  The 2011's from Saxum are in a great place right now.  They drink a bit younger than most of Justin Smith's wines.  Pop and pour, this one was great.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, white pepper and "purple" floral notes.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Big but not blowsy.  Lots of energy.  Good acidity.  Notes of black raspberries over char and spice.  Long finish.  This was great on its own (with a cigar) by the fire but will work well with heavier stews and roasted meats, or even cheeses.  No hurry, t

2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

A blend of 43% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 10% Counoise.  This wine is still on the young side but is open and with a bit of air, was drinking great.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight charred wood, black pepper, roasted herbs and roasted meats.  On the palate, what a wonderful texture.  Almost seamless.  Juicy black raspberry fruit.  Underlying char and roasted meats.  Great energy and balance.  This will continue to mature for the next five to ten years and be good for ten to fifteen after that.  The alcohol is high, but there is hint of it although

2014 Saxum G2 Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

This is a blend of 58% Mourvedre and 42% Grenache.  Purple in color.  Opaque.  The nose has black cherries, plums, cedar, and roasted meats.  On the palate, the Grenache seems to dominate at this point, but with age that should change.  Black cherry fruit intertwined with smoke and slight earthiness.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This seems young but not a ton of tannins.  It will be interesting to watch this age.  It should go well with spicy Asian cuisine of stews and chili.  Drinking well now, I don't think it gets better but should morph over the next decade or more.  

2017 Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.00USD

This is a very nice value for those looking for a reasonably priced California Cabernet.  It is from Paso Robles, an area generally not known for its Cabs.  Dark ruby in color.  The nose has cherries and slight kirsch notes along with some baking spice and a bit of vanilla.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with good acidity.  Cherries with some oak.  Medium finish.  This will improve over the next couple of years as it integrates and should be good for five to seven after that.  A nice with with grilled burgers.  

2012 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

John Alban is one of the pioneers of Rhone varietal wines in California.  His eponymous winery  is still one of the best.  This is a big wine but for those who like this style, it is excellent.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, some black pepper, slight roasted meats and gravelly dirt.  On the palate, the texture is lush and almost seamless.  This is slightly sweet, most likely from ripe fruit.  Black raspberries and some black cherries.  Plenty of depth with a long finish.  A tasty wine for sure.  It drinks great on its own (and was perfect with a nice Cuban cigar).  It wi

2015 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

My friend Charlie came by.  Now Charlie likes his wines big and young and we both love Saxum.  That sure seemed like a great opportunity to pull and young'un from the cellar and see what it was showing.  The surprising thing was how good and accessible this was already.  It's not at peak and will improve with cellaring, but if you have more than one, it's not a tragedy to open one now.  33% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre, 24% Syrah and 11% Counoise.   Purple in color, slight ruby line at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, white pepper and slight floral notes.  This

2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein, USA, California, Central Coast, Ventura, Wine review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Deep ruby in color.  The nose has nice cherries, black cherries and black raspberries with baking spice and a bit of pepper.  Full bodied with a great texture.  Nice backbone of acidity.  On the palate, black raspberries with some black cherries.  This is young and needs a few years to develop but quite tasty right now.  Not a monster wine by any means.  Will work with medium and big foods.  

2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

This continues to improve.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper and grilled meats.  On the palate, this has a nice juicy acidity.  Medium tannins.  Black raspberries layered with char and earth.  Good finish.  No hint of alcohol or heat.  Needs bigger and/or spicy foods.  This wine still needs about five years to peak.  Then should be good for another 15 after that.  Very concentrated.  

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