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  • 2012 Saxum - Heart Stone Vineyard

2012 Saxum - Heart Stone Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SAN LUIS OBISPO
abv 15.1%
  • 96 WA
  • 91 WS
  • Variety
    Rhone Blend
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SKU: 120927-2012
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 91

    Offers a potent expression of loamy earth-infused dark berry, sage, bay leaf, espresso, black tea and black licorice flavors, all deep and persistent, cloaked in chewy tannins. Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Best from 2016 through 2028. 410 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 96

    The 2012 Heart Stone Vineyard is 43% Syrah, 41% Grenache and 16% Mourvedre that was aged mostly in concrete (the '11 was aged 100% in concrete) yet also saw some new and neutral puncheons. Fermented with 40% whole clusters, it's a big, burly effort that has beautiful creme de cassis, black raspberry, crushed violets, vanilla bean and exotic flower-like qualities all emerging from the glass. It too has a structured feel, with high, yet ripe tannin, so short-term cellaring is also advised here.
    Author: Jeb Dunnuck
  • Self | Rating: 98

    Author: Johnnymd
Saxum Vineyards is focused on producing Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre-based blends from the Templeton Gap of Paso Robles, California. They let their rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, and cooling ocean breezes speak through their wines by keeping yields extremely low, picking fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar. Production is kept at a total of 2200-2800 cases per year divided between 6 different cuvees: Broken Stones, Heart Stone Vineyard, James Berry Vineyard, Booker Vineyards, Rocket Block and Bone Rock.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

While the Northern Rhône is known mostly for single-varietal wines from Syrah or Viognier, the Southern Rhône is known for complex blends. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for example, allows up to 13 different varieties in a blend leaving winemakers ample room to experiment. This variation makes it almost impossible to describe a typical Rhône blend. Regardless of style, the common goal of these winemakers is to manage high tannin and alcohol levels in order to produce a balanced wine.

The most widely planted variety, Grenache, dominates most Rhône blends and adds concentrated spiced red fruit flavors with cinnamon, raspberry, and tobacco characteristics. Syrah and Mourvèdre add color and tannin, with Syrah contributing aromas of blueberry, pepper, and bacon while Mourvèdre adds dense black fruit flavors and gamey and meaty aromas. Cinsault provides red fruit flavor. For the best expression of this complex blend turn to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and classic producers like Château de Beaucastel, Clos des Papes, or Domaine du Pegau.

Many New-World wine regions, particularly in California and Australia, have adopted this winemaking method. The best examples come from San Luis Obispo producers Saxum, Sine Qua Non, and Alban.

The complexity and spice-forward flavor profile of Rhône blends pair best with herb-roasted turkey, pork chops, a range of cheeses, or spiced vegetables. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 138 bottles owned
  • 55 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 98
    (Out of 55 collectors)