• Producer: Saxum Vineyards - read about the Estate
  • Winemaker: Justin Smith
  • Region (AVA): Paso Robles (Willow Creek District)
  • Blend: 58% Grenache, 27% Mataro, 6% Syrah, 6% Graciano, 3% Counoise
  • Vintage production: 1,697 cases
  • Winery location: Willow Creek
  • First vintage: 2004
  • Drinking window: 2021-2041


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 is the real deal. If you're a fan of Saxum James Berry, this is your wine. Just promise me you will cellar some bottles for a couple of years. I think this one has some wheels and will only get better and better with age.


Saxum Vineyards James Berry Vineyard 2019

  • "Not yet bottled, the 2019 James Berry Vineyard will be a blend of 58% Grenache, 27% Mourvèdre, 6% each of Syrah and Graciano, and the rest Counoise. It has a vivid purple hue as well as full-bodied aromas and flavors of kirsch, blackberries, lavender, violets, and pepper. Possessing off-the-charts purity, ripe, silky tannins, and flawless balance, it’s another example of this cuvée that’s going to just about top out the scale."

    97-99 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Sept. 2021)