• Producer: Saxum Vineyards - read about the Estate
  • Winemaker: Justin Smith
  • Region (AVA): Paso Robles (Willow Creek District)
  • Blend: 64% Grenache, 16% Mataro, 14% Syrah, 6% Carignan
  • Vintage production: 1,418 cases
  • Winery location: Willow Creek
  • First vintage: 2004
  • Drinking window: 2022-2038


About The Wine:


The James Berry Vineyard is the Smith family’s estate vineyard. It is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean with an average elevation of 1200 feet. It consists of a series of slopes with shallow clay loam topsoil covering an ancient seabed, complete with fossilized shells and sharks teeth. The cuvee is a red fruit driven, Grenache based blend, with a large portion of Mataro for texture, and Syrah as spicy support.


The James Berry Vineyard blend is aged for 18-20 months in a variety of vessels. The Grenache portion ages in concrete tank and larger puncheons, while the Mataro and Syrah ages in the smaller French barrels. A high percentage of them are new. The wine is rich and layered. Raspberries and blackberries lead the way followed by Provincial herbs and smooth dense tannins. The wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.


NOTES FROM JUSTIN: This iteration of the James Berry Vineyard has got to be the most complex one we have ever made. The nose is not as lifted as the '17s were (I really love how forward the '17s are), but the upside potential of this '18 boggles the senses. It will only continue to evolve and surprise you in the glass... one minute it's all black licorice and fresh loam and then the next it's back to strawberries and shortbread! But wait, violets too?? Yes, so much violets. The mouthfeel is big, focused, and rich, but a little more structured than the G2. Silky seamless tannins. This JBV is one for the ages. Lay it low for a few year if you can. Many more if you can do that too! Either way, don't miss this one.



Saxum Vineyards James Berry Vineyard 2018

  • "Showing better from bottle than barrel (always a good sign), the 2018 James Berry Vineyard is another stunning wine in a long line of stunning wines from this estate. Based on 64% Grenache, 16% Mataro, 14% Syrah, and the rest Carignan, incredible notes of blueberries, wild strawberries, licorice, new leather, herbes de Provence, and candied violets all emerge from the glass, and it's full-bodied, with an incredible sense of purity and elegance, flawless balance, and a huge finish. It has some early appeal yet is going to be best with 2-4 years of bottle age and will still be drinking beautifully at age 20."

    99 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Sept. 2020)