98 points Jeb Dunnuck
Scheduled to be bottled the week after this tasting, the 2019 James Berry Vineyard Rocket Block is a Grenache-dominated blend that includes 19% Mourvèdre, 7% Syrah, and 4% Counoise. It’s a full-bodied beast of a wine revealing a ripe, sexy bouquet of red and black fruits, white pepper, sappy herbs, and flowers. It’s one of those wines that brings incredible richness
and power, yet still somehow manages to stay balanced, elegant, and light on its feet. There are 880 cases produced.
I was able to taste three vintages from Saxum, the late release 2019s from bottle, the majority of the 2020 lineup from barrel, and a handful of 2021 barrel samples. As I wrote last year, the 2019s are just brilliant, ripe, hedonistic, magical wines, and these late releases only reinforce that opinion. Looking at the 2020s, this is clearly a challenging vintage, with many wines having subtle smoky nuances and firmer yet still ripe tannins. Justin commented that the lab numbers regarding smoke taint were very low, so I think these are safe wines that will offer plenty of pleasure, although this is not a vintage to hide in the cellar. The 2021s that I was able to taste were terrific, and this will clearly be another terrific vintage here. In addition, they’ve planted a new vineyard located just four miles off the Pacific, the
Cayucos Ridge Vineyard, and I expect we’ll see more releases from that site in the future.
Always stored on it’s side in a climate controlled cellar.
Please note: The item in the photos is the exact item you will receive.