Saxum Vineyards 2017 G2 Vineyard, Paso Robles
Item Number: 14231
Sub Region: Central Coast
Appellation/AVA: Paso Robles
Estate Grown Wine: No
Grape(s): 58% Grenache / 20% Mataro / 11% Tannat / 8% Graciano / 3% Syrah
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
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.