Saxum Bone Rock 2016 750ml - Station Plaza Wine
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Saxum Bone Rock 2016 750ml
SKU: 09227

Saxum Bone Rock 2016

  • wa97-99
  • v98-99
  • jd97+
  • ws93

Save $81.00 (25%)

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Ah, this brings us to the 2016 Bone Rock. Wow. I definitely like giving this wine the extra year in barrel it deserves. 33 months to be exact, and it is still really fresh and focused! But that finish, it's forever! Ok, sorry, I got caught up in the moment. Let me rewind and walk you through this wine. The nose is cedar and earth with blackberry and violets in the background and plenty of black pepper (that pepper is coming from the 27% stem inclusion). The mouth is round and polished with no hard edges and excellent fruit purity (thanks to the 34% concrete amphora I suspect). It is round and full, with a dense, tannic spine that needs some time to relax and strut its stuff. The finish is where the extended aging really shines through. It's very concentrated, yet flows on and on, without feeling heavy or burdensome. That's what makes Saxum Saxum. Weight and texture without heaviness. With a focus of purity. I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, but that's really the key. The cornerstone. Like I mentioned in my previous letter, 2016 is quite possibly the best vintage we have made. The stars aligned, and everything is just right. The perfect amount of fruit richness, the right amount of ripe tannins, the perfect amount of acidity, and incredible balance, all wrapped up with some nice freshness and aromatic intensity. We knew we had some great material right from the get go, and used a little less new oak than normal to let the explosive fruit and earthiness show itself properly. I am very happy with these wines!
Wine Advocate
  • wa97-99

The 2016 Syrah James Berry Vineyard Bone Rock is quite different from the 2015 in composition, since it's a blend of 72% Syrah, 10% Mataro, 9% Graciano, 6% Grenache and 3% Roussanne; and while the 2015 was matured in 100% new puncheons, the 2016 is being raised in 59% new puncheons, 34% amphorae and the balance used wood. It will be another 12 months before this is bottled, but it was one of the high points of this exceptional tasting, wafting from the glass with a fragrant bouquet of wild berries, licorice, subtle grilled meat, lilac blossom and suggestions of crushed rocks (if that isn't too fanciful a description). On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and layered, with deep, multidimensional core that's framed by fine-grained but youthfully firm, chewy tannins. There's a savory quality to this wine, despite its generous endowment of fruit, as well as a tension and energy that mark it out as especially promising.

William Kelley, May 2018
  • v98-99

Inky purple. Explosive, smoke- and spice-accented blueberry, cherry cola, vanilla and smoky mineral aromas show outstanding delineation and pick up an olive nuance with aeration. Sweet and expansive in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated dark berry preserve, fruitcake and violet pastille flavors along with an exotic touch of star anise. The strikingly long, penetrating finish shows vibrant, minerally cut, an echo of juicy blue fruit and pliant tannins that sneak in late and fold smoothly into the deeply concentrated fruit.

Josh Raynolds, September 2018
Jeb Dunnuck
  • jd97+

A blend of 72% Syrah, 19% Mourvèdre, and the rest Grenache and Roussanne, the 2016 James Berry Vineyard Bone Rock boasts a saturated purple color as well as beautiful black and blue fruits, ground pepper, chalky minerality, and hints of chocolate. These carry to a full-bodied Syrah that has nicely balanced acidity, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This cuvée saw a lot of stems in the ferments, yet they’re incredibly well-integrated. I suspect it’s going to merit a triple-digit rating in 3-4 years and it’s another awesome wine from the genius of Justin Smith.

Wine Spectator
  • ws93

Richly structured and dynamic, with expressive black currant, crushed stone and smoky sweet anise elements that take on depth and polish toward refined tannins. Syrah, Mataro, Graciano, Grenache and Roussanne. Since the brand's first vintage in 2000, Saxum has set the standard for Rhône-style reds in California, with numerous appearances on Wine Spectator's Top 100 list, including the No. 1 spot in 2010 with the Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007. Owner-winemaker Justin Smith (pictured at right) grew up in Paso Robles, located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and his father planted the 55-acre James Berry Vineyard in the early 1980s. The core of Saxum's production, James Berry Vineyard is about 10 miles from the Pacific, planted atop an ancient seabed scattered with fossilized shells and shark teeth. The latest James Berry Vineyard Willow Creek District 2017, a potent yet detailed blend, was previously featured in the Insider with a 95-point rating. As you can see from this collection, Smith makes wine from a range of nearby vineyards, including Booker, Paderewski and Terry Hoage. Smith uses a variety of winemaking approaches, depending on the bottling and vintage, with fermentation vessels that range from concrete to large French oak puncheons, emphasizing the unique qualities of each grape and vineyard.\

Tim Fish, December 18, 2019

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