Saxum Vineyards 2017 G2 Vineyard, Paso Robles

Saxum Vineyards 2017 G2 Vineyard, Paso Robles

Item Number: 14231

UPC: None

Country: USA
Region: California
Sub Region: Central Coast
Appellation/AVA: Paso Robles
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vintage: 2017
Grape(s): 58% Grenache / 20% Mataro / 11% Tannat / 8% Graciano / 3% Syrah
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 15.7
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Case Production: 868

Vineyard Notes: The G2 Vineyard is only half a mile from the Saxum estate, directly to the Southwest. Justin's friend Bill Gibbs (of Heart Stone) purchased the property with 40 acres already planted to Grenache, Mataro, Syrah, Tannat, and Zinfandel. Justin locked down his favorite blocks, an amazing 5-acre south slope planted to Mataro and Grenache. These blocks are extremely rocky and steep, a twin of his Syrah block at Booker Vineyard, with a vertical rise of 200 feet in a single row! The fruit off these blocks are mind blowing. In addition, Justin sources from 8 other blockes: 2 north-facing Grenache blocks, 2 big south slopes with head trained Graciano, a north-facing Syrah block, and some blocks of Carignane and Cinsault.

A Note from Justin Smith: "I feel this G2 Vineyard is the best to date, slightly edging out the classic 2016 version. Compared to the JBV, it has a much darker brooding nose, in no small part due to the use of Tannat and Graciano as components. More black fruit, smoke, and a touch of a floral element, maybe rose? The palate just explodes with dark fruits and soft round tannins that go on forever. This wine saw a good amount of new French oak (87%), mostly large 500-liter puncheons, so the oak impact is barely noticeable."

Vintage Notes: During the 2017 growing season California was served an impressive heat wave that arrived at the wrong time, when the fruit was getting close, but definitely not there yet. Saxum was faced with two options. The first option was to pick the fruit that was starting to shrivel from the heat. Fruit with numbers saying the sugars were getting too high, acids were too strong, and tannins were too green. The second option was to let it ride. However, you can’t predict the weather and could potentially loose the whole crop. A huge gamble. Well, Justin rolled the dice and let everything hang. Eventually the heat stopped, a portion of the crop was lost (~15%), but the remaining 85% was awesome. A lot of time was spent at the sorting table removing the damaged portions of the clusters, but it was all worthwhile. The wines are delicious! The 2017s definitely have a riper aromatic than the 2016s. The tannins are incredibly soft and smooth, making them very open and approachable in their youth.

Reviews

  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 94 (2/6/2020)

    Medium to deep ruby, it has lovely scents of tar and roses to begin, with a core of ripe red and black cherries and berries and accents of turned earth, forest floor, underbrush, dried herbs and garrigue. The medium to full-bodied palate is intense, layered and earthy, with a firm, grainy frame and well-woven freshness, finishing long and layered.
  • Vinous
    Rating: 96 (2/4/2020)

    Ripe black raspberry, blueberry and cherry scents are complemented by suggestions of candied lavender and incense. Sappy and broad on the palate, offering concentrated red and blue fruit, cola and spicecake flavors that steadily become sweeter with air. Clings with superb tenacity on the gently chewy finish, which features harmonious tannins and resonating red fruit liqueur and floral notes.
  • Jeb Dunnuck
    Rating: 99 (10/31/2019)

    A Grenache-dominated blend that includes 11% Tannat, 9% Graciano and 3% Syrah, the 2017 G2 Vineyard reminds me of a great vintage of Raymond Usseglio’s Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvée Imperiale. Flirting with perfection and one of the greatest Rhône blends I’ve tasted from California, it offers a smorgasbord of sweet black and blue fruits, crushed violets, flowery incense, and pepper. With full-bodied richness, no hard edges, perfectly integrated acidity, and silky tannins, drink this magical wine any time over the coming 10-15 years.