Saxum Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard 2017
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|Region||California, Central Coast, Paso Robles|
Shimmering violet color. A complex, explosively perfumed bouquet evokes ripe, spice-accented red and blue fruits, incense and floral oils, which are enlivened by a vibrant mineral quality that builds as the wine opens up. Sweet, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering densely packed black raspberry, boysenberry, candied lavender and spicecake flavors that show outstanding clarity and building power. The mineral and floral components drive an extremely long, sappy finish that's given shape by smooth, deftly woven tannins.
Mostly Grenache blended with 14% Mataro and 8% Syrah, the 2017 James Berry Vineyard Rocket Block offers an exotic style in its kirsch and mulberry fruits as well as notes of candied orange, toasted spice, herbes de Provence, and white pepper aromas and flavors. Full-bodied and beautiful on the palate, with silky tannins, a fresher, elegant texture, and a fabulous finish, it will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep over a decade. I don't think it matches the 2015 and 2016, but it's still a stunning wine. Rating 95-97 Tasting Date 10/31/2019 Maturity 2019 - 2034 Reviewed By Jeb Dunnuck Source Central Coast: The 2017s and 2018s Print Review Justin commented that the heat in 2017 really helped the Grenache. His 2017 James Berry Vineyard Rocket Block is a prettier, more elegant wine than the 2016, offering beautiful notes of kirsch liqueur, incense, blood orange, and flowers. With nicely integrated stems, medium to full body, silky tannins, and terrific balance, it's going to benefit from just a handful of year of bottle age and drink spectacularly well for 10-15 years or more. Saxum's Justin Smith has hit a home run with these recent vintages, and his 2015s, 2016s, 2017s, and 2018s all have singular styles, with the quality remaining sky-high. The 2018s show the slightly more pure, fresh, yet concentrated style of the vintage nicely. While not yet bottled, these will offer pleasure in their youth as well as benefit from short term cellaring. The 2017s are more pretty, perfumed wines that don't quite have the density of the 2016s yet certainly don't lack for fruit. Most are already drinking nicely today, yet as with all great wines, they're going to evolve gracefully. Lastly, the 2016s are some of the greatest wines I've tasted from this estate, and they offer massive, layered, yet impeccably balanced profiles that are a joy to drink today; they'll also be a joy to drink in 10-15 years as well. As I've written more than once, there are few mailing lists worth being one, but without a doubt, this is one of them.
Medium to deep ruby, the 2017 Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard is a blend of 78% Grenache, 14% Mataro and 8% Syrah. The nose offers lovely tricolored berry fruits with notes of aniseed, lavender and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with juicy, super spicy fruits, softly framed and finishing uplifted.