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    34° C Clear sky
  • Time

    15:02 PM
  • Wine average?

    95 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    44
  • Region Ranking?

    4
  • Popularity ranking?

    204

History

Saxum Vineyards is focused on producing Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre based blends from the Templeton Gap/Willow Creek area of Paso Robles. We let our rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, sunny days, and cooling ocean breezes speak through our wines by keeping our yields low, picking the fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar. We respect our land and farm everything sustainably without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Because our vine’s roots penetrate deep through the fissures in the calcareous soil irrigation is rarely needed. Production is kept at 4000-5000 cases a year divided between seven different cuvees, Broken Stones, James Berry Vineyard, Bone Rock, Booker Vineyard, Paderewski Vineyard, Heart Stone Vineyard and Terry Hoage Vineyard.

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Vineyards

James Berry Vineyard

The James Berry Vineyard is the Smith family’s estate vineyard. It is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean with an average elevation of 1200 feet. It consists of a series of slopes with shallow clay loam topsoil covering an ancient seabed, complete with fossilized shells and sharks teeth. The cuvee is a red fruit driven, Grenache based blend, with a large portion of Mourvedre for texture, and Syrah as spicy support. The James Berry Vineyard blend is aged for 18-20 months in a variety of vessels. The Grenache portion ages in concrete tank and larger puncheons, while the Mourvedre and Syrah ages in the smaller French barrels. A high percentage of them are new. The wine is rich and layered. Raspberries and blackberries lead the way followed by Provincial herbs and smooth dense tannins. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

Booker Vineyard

Owned by Eric and Lisa Jensen, the Booker Vineyard is extremely steep and rocky with a mix of calcareous and siliceous soils. We lease 2 acres of East facing Syrah that produces extremely concentrated fruit with great acidity, 1 acre of a North West face that we ferment whole cluster to produce a black tannic wine with great texture, and 1 acre of Mourvedre on a South slope that gives wonderful intensity and structure. The resulting blend is very concentrated, with great texture and tons of fruit and spice. We age it for 20-26 months mainly in new 350 Liter French hogshead barrels with extra thick staves. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

Paderewski Vineyard

The Paderewski Vineyard is a beautiful property owned by Bill and Liz Armstrong, the owners of Epoch Estate. It was the site of the legendary vineyard of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. If you are unfamiliar with the life and music of Ignacy, please look into it, he was a fascinating character and brilliant musician. Long story short, we have replanted the original site. We felt a wine coming from the Paderewski Vineyard had to include the original varieties that made it famous, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, but in a blend that also showcased our beloved Rhone Varietals too. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

Heart Stone Vineyard

The Heart Stone Vineyard is a small 7 acre vineyard planted on a gentle South slope of limestone and shale. With 8 different clones of Syrah, 4 of Grenache and 1 Mourvedre, we aim to produce a wine that is both compelling and complex. We typically co-ferment all the varieties together with a high proportion of whole clusters, producing a tannic and spicy wine that has great purity and complexity. We age this wine with very little new oak in mostly larger puncheons for 20-28 months. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

Terry Hoage Vineyard

The Terry Hoage Vineyard is owned and farmed by Jennifer and Terry Hoage. It consists of rolling hillsides and a beautiful bass pond where dragon flies abound. The oldest block we source from is a South West facing Syrah, planted in 1994, with the local favorite Estrella clone. It yields a red fruit driven flavor profile, with superb structure. Across the pond and higher up the hillside sits the Grenache block with a similar exposition, incredibly concentrated fruit, and a nice bright acidity which adds lift to the blend. Terry agreed to plant my favorite little section of Syrah at the super high density of 1 Meter by 1 Meter, without any rootstock, on a steep North facing section. Of course he has to do all the work by hand. This fruit is fermented in open top puncheons without de-stemming. It is wildly spicy and dark, with a real teriyaki beef jerky component that I absolutely love. This blend is a truly unique expression of Paso Robles terrior, light on its feet but still packed to the brim with character and intensity. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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Winemaking

Bone Rock

The Bone Rock blend comes from the Bone Rock block of James Berry Vineyard. It is a steep terrace of old head trained Syrah vines on a south facing slope. We unearthed fossilized whale bones when we terraced it and then needed to use jack hammers to plant the vines. This wine might be the most structured blend Saxum produces and because of its density, tannin, and acidity, it needs a few years to unfold. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

Broken Stones

Our Broken Stones cuvee is Syrah based, with a large portion of Petite Sirah and Grenache and a splash of Mourvedre. It is aged for 18-20 months in mainly new, French barriques. It is full-bodied, rich, and intense, but also reveals great purity, focus and complexity. The Broken Stones is the only wine we make that is a multi-vineyard blend, utilizing all the vineyards that we source from. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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Highlights

Latest news

TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS CHAMPAGNE -HALL OF FAME 2022 / by Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS PENFOLDS COLLECTION 2022 / by Andrew Caillard MW
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TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2022 – The Best Wine Critics of the World have been selected  / Jeb Dunnuck is the surprise Winner!
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 BEST CHAMPAGNES 2022 / by Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook.com
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TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Harlan Estate and BOND appoint Kerry Wines as China distributor / Napa Valley icon Harlan Estate and BOND, pet project of Harlan’s owner Bill Harlan, have announced a partnership with Kerry Wines to be their distributor in China.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines / At the conclusion of a momentous year for Sotheby’s Wine, our London team is delighted to present our final auction before Christmas with: 100 Years of Jaboulet | A Connoisseur’s Collection | Finest & Rarest Wines.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS The top traded wines in 2021 / by Liv-ex
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TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS The Fine Wine Market in 2021 / All previous records set in 2020 have been broken and surpassed in 2021, marking the most successful year ever for the secondary fine wine market.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 7.12.2021 / 100 BEST CHAMPAGNE 2022 LIST by CHAMPAGNE MAGAZINE
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TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Experimental Harlan's Napa red launches in Hong Kong / A red Cabernet blend, created by Domain H. William Harlan, and not originally intended for sale, will debut in Hong Kong through leading wine importer Omtis Fine Wines.

Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Saxum Vineyards . In a tasting of  24 wines 

Gaja Sori Tildin 2017 / Coming from a warmer, south-facing site, the 2016 Barbaresco Sori Tildin is a more concentrated, vibrant wine compared to the straight Barbaresco and has vivid notes of bright cherry fruits, rose petals, road tar, violets and even a hint of orange blossom. Incredible on the palate, with medium to full body, an incredible, seamless texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a monster finish. The tannins here are unquestionably on another level and are perfectly ripe, and this just about off-the-charts 2016 has a Grand Cru Red Burgundy-like texture, elegance, and stature. This bottle didn't hit prime time until the second day, so either give bottles a healthy decant or, even better, 5-7 years in a cold cellar.

1y 7m ago

 Justin Smith, Wine Maker (United States)  tasted  19 wines  from  Saxum Vineyards . In a tasting of  19 wines 

The 2016 James Berry Vineyard is insane. I kind of feel like that is all I need to say, but I’ll go on. Whenever I pulled a sample from the barrel and gave it to someone to taste, I would see their eyes light up and they would always ask, what’s THIS?? Yes, it’s that type of wine. Soaring aromatics of cherries and California sage, a beautiful, lush mouthfeel of red and black fruits, and a finish that is perhaps 3 miles long consisting of baking spice and fennel (maybe even 4 miles, it’s hard to say for sure). Fresh and lively, yet rich and pleasurable, it’s the ultimate combo.


The 2016 vintage is one of the finest, if not THE finest vintage to come around in our 17 years of Saxum. (Isn’t it always true that the current vintage is the best ever?) What happened to
make the 2016 wines so nice you ask? Well, what stands out to me is how even keeled the whole season was. It was a drought busting rainy winter, followed by a nice warm spring. The spring had minimal frost which in turn provided a good set of fruit and gave us the option to thin the fruit down to just the perfect clusters. To top it all off, a moderately warm, but not too hot, summer season allowed the fruit to reach optimal ripeness and retain great natural acidities. The 2016s are definitely a tad darker and denser than the 2015s. I love the 2015s for their beauty, and I love the 2016s for their pleasure. They impress with their balance, walking that razor’s edge of having density and richness while still possessing depth, complexity, and mystery. Yes, I really love how many hidden layers the wines have, and how the layers are slowly revealed as you get to know the wines better throughout an evening. Maybe like a well written book that takes you ever deeper into it’s world, slowly revealing it’s true heart.

3y 5m ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Saxum Vineyards . In a tasting of  28 wines 

The Parker 100-point California tasting with 29 wines.


 

4y 6m ago

 Michel Jamais, Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Saxum Vineyards . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“Darioush Winery is one of the most spectacular wineries in Napa Valley. You just can’t miss it when driving on Silverado Trail in the southern part of the valley. Its pillars, copied from the famous Persian palace Persepolis from 500 BC, are dazzling white in the sunshine, and reveals either insanity, or heritage. In this case, you have to settle for heritage, bcause that what is is. Founder Darioush Khaledi was born in the town of Shiraz in what way back in time was known to be Persia, but had to leave his homeland in 1976. Los Angeles became his new home, and together his nephew he started a market to make a living. Two decades later this market had turned into a huge business (KW Mart) with 20 supermarkets and more than 1 500 employees!
His passion for fine wines nourished as his fortune grew, and instead of looking for a château in Bordeaux (which was his initial plan), he found a vineyard in Napa Valley that he bought in 1997. There was no winery at that time – the ground for it was broken the year after, and believe it or not, all stones were brought back from his homeland, Iran. That’s dedication and pride. Like it or not. I do like it.
Steve Devitt was appointed as winemaker, and that was a smart move. If someone knew about the terroir in this corner of Napa Valley, it was Steve. He worked in Napa Valley since mid 80s, and was at the winemaker at neighbor winery Signorello until he came over to Darioush. Production today has reached more than 10 000 cases, of which the cabernet wine is the by far most important.”

6y 5m ago

 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Saxum Vineyards . In a tasting of  38 wines 

“Vintage 2007 tasting. Some great wines from Marcassin, Ornellaia, Jonata etc.”

6y 10m ago

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