Vault Wine: This wine is stored in our vault.
Overview of the Wine
Saxum Vineyards is focused on producing Grenache, Syrah, and Mataro based blends from the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. We let our rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, sunny days, and cooling ocean breezes speak through our wines by keeping our yields low, picking the fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar. We respect our land and farm everything sustainably without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Because our vine’s roots penetrate deep through the fissures in the calcareous soil irrigation is rarely needed. Production is kept around 8000 cases a year divided between ten different cuvees, Broken Stones, James Berry Vineyard, The Hexe, Bone Rock, Rocket Block, G2 Vineyard, Paderewski Vineyard, Heart Stone Vineyard, 4hearts Vineyard, and James Berry Vineyard White.
Hexe can have two meanings, to perform magic or, simply, a witch. I like them both when applied to this wine. It is a multi-vineyard cuvée that is built around Grenache. Not just any old Grenache. We are selecting our blackest, most wicked Grenaches, the ones that we know will benefit from 33 months aging in various large puncheons or concrete amphora. The heart of this cuvée is the oldest block at James Berry Vineyard, a South facing hilltop Grenache block that was planted in 1980. Around this lot we like to weave in some of the most intense Grenache and Mataro blocks from G2 Vineyard, along with a bit of Petite Sirah from Paderewski Vineyard. It is the dark side of Grenache. Black magic.
Grape / Blend
57% Grenache, 15% Mataro, 13% Graciano, 10% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Paso Robles, California
Hexe is already made from our blackest, most brooding Grenache lots. Then along comes a vintage like 2018 that is extra black and brooding, and you get... Well, you guessed it. A deep, dark intense wine. I love tasting the Hexe side by side with the Rocket Block. They're such different expressions of Grenache. Each beautiful in their own way. The Hexe is blackberry, licorice, smoked meats, and a bit of dark chocolate all wrapped up in silky tannins. Lay this baby down for a couple of years and you will be greatly rewarded.
As for the 2018s we are offering, well you've heard me talk about the 18s before. Dark, intense, powerful. They are indeed. I think spending the extra year in barrel was exactly what these beasts needed to tame them a bit. But believe me, they are still in need of laying down for a few more years. They have some structure that will reward your patience.
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Another perfect wine is the 2018 Hexe, a blend of 57% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 13% Graciano, 10% Syrah, and the rest Petite Sirah that’s a 60/40 split from the James Berry and G2 vineyards. Full-bodied, concentrated, and incredibly pure, its vivid purple (it’s not completely opaque) color is followed by ample dark berry and black cherry fruits as well as notes of candied orange, licorice, peppery herbs, and an incredible sense of minerality. It reminds me of a great vintage of Janasse’s Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes and is another tour de force from winemaker Justin Smith that will benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 15+ years.
98 Points - Vinous
Deep, shimmering ruby. Hugely perfumed aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, star anise, cola and mocha are complemented by a suave floral topnote. Pliant, expansive and appealingly sweet, offering lush black raspberry, cherry cola, vanilla, fruitcake and baking spice flavors underscored by a vibrant, smoky mineral quality. At once rich and energetic in character, finishing wonderfully long and precise, with solid spicy thrust, well-integrated tannins and reverberating florality.
Product size: 750ml