Saxum Visit Tasting 2010 and 2011s....Whoa Nelly!

Elenen of us convened from all corners of North America to spend some time with two of our favorite winemakers. Our first stop was Saxum to meet with Justin Smith. can somebody say Rock Star? We started on Thursday night with dinner at Villa Creek drinking through a large assortment of wines (non Saxum) but they paled in comparison to the new Saxum creations we’d taste the following day.

we started Friday off with a stroll through the picturesque vineyards and making our way through the upper block of Bone Rock. After trying to break Justin with a barrage of questions (Justin survived unscathed), we made our way into lab for some tastings of the 2011 vintage in barrel. I’m sure others will chime in with moor extensive notes but I’ll cover some that are embedded in the cranium. First let me state that Mr Smith has raised the bar dramatically with these two vintages. We tasted a number of components of the James Berry and if the Rocket Block grenache is any indication, we have ourselves a real winner. In fact, the Grenache rocked everyone with such purity and class that we were lobbying for an RB single vineyard bottling as no doubt it could stand alone. Easily the best Grenache to date. Stunning!! All of the components showed a purity of fruit at a level unmatched in prior vintages. Justin seems to be experimenting more with a mix of barrel and concrete aging that’s helping produce some cool flavor characteristics. Great juice and a no brainer vintage to purchase all in.

Next up was the 2010 vintage from barrel. If this Bone Rock isn’t a perfect wine, I’ll eat my words. Justin introduced 13% rousanne into the blend and what was created was a perfect mix of fruit purity, mouthfeel and vibrancy that made for what everyone considered to be his best wine yet made. I’ll be trolling my lures to pick up every bottle available as this is the kind of wine that you’d want to have more than enough in your cellar. 2010 was another gem for the Rocket block with a beautiful blackberry/raspberry extract. How does one go about coaxing so much from a grape? This will help make for a very special James Berry.

Many thanks to Justin Smith for an amazing day and Kudos on what will likely be the finest wines made to date. Mr Smith is an absolute rock star and master of his craft. [cheers.gif]

Justin is a cool dude, Smith not bonner, bonner is a douche. :wink: I actually liked the grenaches as much as BR. Rockstar vintage. Rockstar wine maker.

Justin, what were yields like in 2010/2011?

Thanks dudes, good times for sure.

Kevin, 10 and 11 yields were both very light, somewhere in between tiny and miniscule, with 11 leaning towards miniscule and 10 towards tiny.