Ratings & Tasting notes:
97-99 points Jeb Dunnuck
While the 2020 James Berry Vineyard White hasn’t been bottled yet, I was nevertheless blown away, and I suspect it will be one of the finest whites to come from the region. Sporting a medium gold hue as well as a full-bodied, deep, rich, concentrated profile, it has a heavenly bouquet of white stone fruits, toasted bread, honeysuckle, and white flowers. You could safely put this awesome wine up against the finest whites coming out of the Rhône Valley today.
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 in a climate controlled cellar since release.