98 Points - limited
98 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Another powerhouse, the Saxum 2018 Booker Vineyard is based on 74% Syrah and 26% Mourvèdre that sees some stem inclusion and a full 20 to 26 months in 350-liter French oak barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It's a youthful, primary 2018 offering incredibly pure black and blue fruits as well as notes of charcoal, graphite, roasted herbs, and charred meat. These carry to a full-bodied Syrah with a beautiful core of sweet fruit, ripe, polished, yet certainly present tannins, and flawless balance. Despite its overall richness and size, it still has a vibrant spine of acidity and freshness and a gorgeous finish. Give bottles plenty of air if drinking any time soon, and my money is on it benefiting from 2-3 years of bottle age and cruising in cold cellars through 2032."
98 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Booker Vineyard, a blend of 74% Syrah and 26% Mataro, has gregarious aromas of baked blackberries, coffee, dark earth and licorice with loads of spicy accents. The full-bodied palate bursts with concentrated, nuanced fruits, pure notes of chocolate and floral perfume lingering in the mouth. The sheer concentration of flavor is expertly foiled by its fine, silt-like tannins and seamless freshness, and it finishes with tremendous length and detail. I appreciate how drinkable this is straight from the bottle, though it will have more to show with time in the cellar."
...Needing no introduction for anyone that’s followed the Wine Advocate or the wine scene in Paso Robles for any time in the past decade, Heather and Justin Smith’s Saxum Vineyards continues to fashion sensational, world-class wines from a number of top sites on the west side of Paso Robles."
A fantastic red from Bedrock winemaker Morgan-Twain Peterson, one of the hottest young winemakers in California.
90 Points Robert Parker "Best Buy": "A Mediterranean blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and assorted mixed blacks fermented with native yeasts and aged in primarily neutral containers (15% in new French oak), it is a California version of a high-class Cotes du Rhone. Lots of berry fruit intermixed with lavender, pepper and meaty black cherry and black currant flavors emerge from this satisfying, round, expansive, generous red. An outstanding, killer value that should provide pleasure over the next 1-2 years. If there is a better value in California wine, I would like to know about it."
....Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo."
An amazing value from the South of France - hurry!
95 Points Decanter: "60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish. *Gold Medal Winner Decanter Asia Wine Awards.*
Robert Parker: "A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value. If offers bold black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas, lively fruit flavors, silky tannins and a crisp, lengthy mocha-tinged finish. Drink this fun, bouncy little wine over the next couple of years."