2015 Saxum Broken Stones Paso Robles

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48% Syrah, 21% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 10% Petite Sirah, 1% Roussanne

Wine Markers Notes:

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the 2015s. It was an anomaly of a vintage. First off, 2015 was the third consecutive drought year. The vineyards received abysmal rainfall and the vines were stressing. Due to the stress and unfavorable spring conditions, the vines set meager, and I mean MEAGER crop loads. Worst hit was the Syrah and Grenache, which unfortunately, is the bulk of what we produce. Anyways, enough belly aching over low yields…..back to the wines! The type of wine that you would expect to make from tiny yields and extended drought conditions would be massively concentrated behemoths. Thick, dark wines that you would have to smack the bottom of the bottle to get them to pour out. Surprisingly, we found the opposite type of wine when we started to press the young 2015s into barrel. Everyone stopped and scratched their heads. They are beautiful, nuanced wines! They possess the awesome spice of a cold vintage, like 2011, along with the sweet tannins of a cool, long growing season, like 2007. Hmmmmmm, what is going on? Well, here’s my theory, and if anybody else has one, let me know because I’m all ears. 2015 was an unusually humid summer, something we never see here in dry Paso Robles. A monsoonal weather pattern set up, possibly due to the warm El Niño waters off the Pacific, and it culminated in mid-July with a crazy lightning storm, dumping almost three inches of rain on us. Nobody had ever seen this. Even the old farmers who have been living here for close to 90 years! Now in the vineyard, it was too early to impact the fruit because the clusters hadn’t begun to color up yet. But the storm seemed to rejuvenate the stressed out vines. They perked up and started to smile. Luckily, there weren’t any more freak rain events for the rest of the season and harvest went super smooth. We were able to pick when we wanted to pick and ferment exactly the way we wanted to ferment. And oh, did I mention we had a brand stinking new winery to play with!? New fermentors, new equipment, and so much glorious space! (The new place is 6 times bigger than le garage of old.) We had the ability to put the fruit inside the precise fermentor size or type we thought best. (Wood, concrete, or stainless steel?) And, something new to us, we could leave it there as long as we wanted to because we now had enough fermentation space for every bit of fruit. No need to turn a tank like days of old! Anyways, I’m digressing again…… the wines! Downright beautiful (this is the word of the day). They are open and aromatic, the tannins are soft and supple, they are layered and nuanced beyond all belief. They are already enjoyable. You can drink them while waiting for the 14s to come around. Probably even the 13s and 12s for that matter! On the other hand, I believe they will age magnificently. The balance is perfect.

(97+ Points) Displays a deep garnet-purple color and nose of freshly crushed black cherries and blueberries with touches of fertile loam, garrigue, mossy bark and rare beef. Full-bodied with wonderful vitality and purity, it has a firm backbone of grainy tannins and a very long, pepper-laced finish.Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate Sept 2017

(95 Points) Bright violet color. A flamboyantly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, vanilla, cured tobacco and incense, with a smoky mineral quality adding energetic lift. Palate-staining blueberry and cassis liqueur and fruitcake flavors deepen with air while maintaining impressive vibrancy and focus. Shows a velvety texture and becomes spicier on the urgent, spice-driven finish, which is framed by smooth, slow-building tannins.Josh Raynolds, Vinous Nov 2017

(94-96 Points) Brought up mostly in barrels (75% new French oak), with some in concrete, the 2015 Broken Stones (48% Syrah, 21% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 10% Petite Sirah and a splash of Roussanne) is another seamless, seriously impressive wine. Blackberry, white pepper, spice and violets all emerge from this silky, full-bodied beauty that has tons of class. It will be the last year where the blend is more Grenache and Mourvèdre heavy, and in 2016, it's going back to a Syrah dominated cuvée. They've created a new Grenache cuvée from this block as well. I’ve raved so much about the wines from Saxum’s Justin Smith, I feel like a broken record every new vintage. Nevertheless, these latest vintages are all stellar, and certainly the move to the new cellar hasn’t affect or changed the quality here. The 2014s show the richer, more fleshy style of the vintage, yet still carry the slightly more streamlined/elegant style that Smith has chosen over the past few years. The 2015s play even more in that realm, which is very much the vintage, and are lively and elegant, with pretty, perfumed characters – and plenty of fruit. The 2015s share a lot of similarities to the 2011s (which shined for their aromatics), yet have more fruit and power. It’s worth noting that the majority had just been recently bottled, which makes these showings even more impressive. A vintage that really excites me is the 2016s, which appear to be a return to a more bombastic style, with beautiful fruit and texture.Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

  • List Price: $143.00

Quantity in Stock: 3

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