2009 Torrin The Maven, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Torrin makes some of the best Syrahs.  They are starting to get more respect from the major critics but they still don't have the buzz of some other wineries.  That is good for those people looking to get on the mailing list or not pay three figures for a bottle.  If there is a "complaint" it is that the wines are concentrated and backward and in need of cellaring to get the most out of them.  That is difficult because they are so good on release.  Somehow, however, I managed to make this one last.  75% Grenache, 25% Syrah.  Purple in color.

2005 Terry Hoage Vineyards Syrah The Hedge, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is a big and brawny wine from California's central coast.  Or, at least it was on release.  It seems to have really settled down and is in a great place right now but still has years left.  Inky purple in color with a thin ruby line at the rim.  On the nose this has black raspberries, black pepper, slight floral notes and roasted meats.  Thick and juicy with light tannins.  Good acidity.  Lots of black raspberry fruit intertwined with a scorched earthiness.  Nice finish.  This went well with spicy foods but also would work well with roasts and stews.  

2013 Epoch Estate Wines Syrah Block B Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Paso Robles is making some of the best Syrahs anywhere in the world.  They have a warm fruit profile and are delicious.  Dark purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight roasted meats, black pepper and spice.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Juicy yet lush.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with pepper notes and some underlying char.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This works with roasted foods.  Another good match are Indian foods.  

2009 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$195.00USD

I love Saxum wines.  They might not be or everyone, but more times than not, they are crowd pleasers.  This one was served with friends along side a cheese course at the end of a meal and it was wonderful.  It is blend of 57% Grenache (60% aged in concrete), 31% Mourvedre, and 12% Syrah.  It has very high alcohol levels and a ton of fruit.  It drinks well on its own or needs some hearty food (or cheeses) to stand up to it.  inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, some white pepper, black cherries, spice and slight roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has a lovely energetic qua

2010 Epoch Estate Wines Tempranillo Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

Inky purple in color.  The nose has clay, black cherries and is young and vibrant.  On the palate, there is a black olive quality that made me think Syrah (though I don't know if there is any blended in).  Also black cherries with some spice.  Medium tannins.  This is a big wine.  It is fresh, lively and delicious.  In a tasting of Spanish Tempranillo's this was thrown in blind and was my favorite.  Great on its own but will work with bigger foods.  Easily has a decade left and probably more.  

2012 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

My friend Robert was having a birthday.  I brought a Magnum of this as it is always a crowd pleaser.  And, it did not disappoint.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, roasted meats, and slight floral note.  With air some coffee grounds come out.  On the palate, this was pop and pout and took only about twenty minutes to open though it continued to improve all night.  Lots of black raspberry fruit intertwined with smoke and roasted meats.  Medium tannins.  Great precision and balance.  Long finish.  This needs big or spicy foods but will work with those and o

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

2013 Saxum Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Normally, its better to let Saxum's wait ten years from vintage to really get the best but the Paderewski is a different animal.  It is 34% Mourvedre, 33% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sirah, 12% Syrah and 8% Tempranillo.  Because of that it changes as it ages with the Zin showing more in its youth and fading a bit back with time.  This bottle was beautiful.  Purple in color.  The nose is deep and intoxicating with black cherries, roasted meats, leather, black raspberries, black pepper and cherries.  On the palate, this has a lush chewy texture.  Delicious.  Lots of fruit right now with black cherr

2011 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$160.00USD

2011 is a very interesting vintage for Saxum.  They made great wines, some of the best from Paso Robles as always.  But, it seems to be accessible earlier than most and they are drinking very well today.  This one is no exception.  Seems to be at peak right now and drinking great.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, spice, slight floral quality and plums.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Deep and tightly layered, it unwinds in the glass.  Medium tannins that increase with air.  Good finish.  This will need big or spicy foods.  It is a big wine, but not

2009 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

Stunning wine that still may yet improve amazingly enough.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, slight clove, and slight roasted meats.  It seems that with age, the Syrah and Mourvedre components are taking precedence over the Grenache.  What a great texture.  Full bodied, yet plush, yet light on its feet.  Layers of black raspberry and cherry fruit with minerals and char.  Still some tannins left.  Some warmth (not heat) on the finish is about the only indication of the 15.8% alcohol.  No harm opening now, but a few more years of cellaring is not a bad thin

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