- Producer: Saxum Vineyards - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Justin Smith
- Region (AVA): Paso Robles (Willow Creek District)
- Blend: 43% Syrah, 25% Mataro, 10% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 9% Tempranillo, 4% Viognier
- Vintage production: 640
- Winery location: Willow Creek
- First vintage: 2009
- Drinking window: 2020-2038
About The Wine:
The Paderewski Vineyard is a beautiful property owned by Bill and Liz Armstrong, the owners of Epoch Estate. It was the site of the legendary vineyard of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Saxum and Epoch have replanted the original site, feeling a wine coming from the Paderewski Vineyard had to include the original varieties that made it famous, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, but in a blend that also showcased their beloved Rhone Varietals too. The wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
NOTES FROM JUSTIN: In 2017 the Paderewski Vineyard reverted back to being Syrah dominant, but it’s really an ensemble cast. This site continues to increase in strength with each vintage. The tannins were so soft from the get go that we decided to age a large portion of the wine in a large oak foudre, letting the vineyard speak of its rocky calcareous site. There’s a great minerality that runs though it, holding all that unctuous fruit in check.
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. We were faced with two options. Our 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, we rolled the dice and let everything hang. Then we proceeded to bite our nails and watch the weather. Eventually the heat stopped and we ended up losing a portion of our crop, maybe 15%, but the remaining 85% was awesome. We had to spend a lot of time on 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, but I rather enjoy that. The tannins are incredibly soft and smooth, making them very open and approachable in their youth. I like to think that the 2016s will ultimately be the better wines, but for the ﬁrst 5, maybe 8 years of their lives, the 2017s might bring more
Saxum Vineyards Paderewski Vineyard 2017
"Brought up in half new barrels, the 2017 Paderewski Vineyard has closed down substantially since I tasted it from barrel and is a big, rich, chewy effort as well as one of the more structured and tannic wines in the lineup. Loads of blueberry and mulberry fruits as well as notes of ground pepper, herbs, and graphite give way to a full-bodied 2017 that has good acidity, a more tight, backward feel on the palate, and a great finish. Hide bottles for 2-3 years."
95+ points, Jeb Dunnuck (Oct. 2019)