25 August 2011

Saxum James Berry Vineyard 2008

At Grouse Mountain Grill in Avon, Colorado, I happened to have the chance to drink a bottle of Saxum James Berry Vineyard 2008, a Paso Robles Rhone blend that had been at the top of my list of wines to try. Saxum wines are very hard to come by - most of their sales are out-the-door, and someone has to die to even get on the waiting list!

The bottle.

Wine Director Bill Minett managed to source two bottles of the 2008 vintage for the restaurant.  I don't know when the first bottle was consumed, but I got the second.  About 45 minutes after I ordered the bottle, another table came in and ordered the same, and was informed by our waiter that we had already had the last bottle.

The wine was aerated and decanted for us, as the 2008 was still quite young.  I wish I could have enjoyed it cellared, but as Mr. Minett himself said, everyone was drinking them young because they are so hard to get hold of!

Watching the decanting I was able to take in the intense ruby color of the wine, but the true experience began once the wine was poured.

The last sip.
It had a heady aroma, oaky and fruity, and truly quite intense.  And oh, the taste!  Even after aeration it was still youthful and vibrant, but this did not detract from the wine, it gave it life.  It had strong berry flavors, beautiful, smooth tannins, and a clean, clear finish.

The wine was super-assertive, easily overpowering the tenderloin I enjoyed it with, but I don't care - it was heaven!  That said, I happened to taste my friend's duck sausage with the wine, and it actually was a  very good pairing.

Drinking this bottle was a dream come true.  My thanks to Mr. Minett who was patient with us and posed for the photos we took of the bottle and the experience.  He seemed to enjoy getting to share the experience with us.  To my great shame I forgot to offer him a taste as well, I was too overwhelmed with the experience.  I shall be sending him a thank you card though.  It was a truly incredible experience.

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Books: Rereading The Hunger Games, trying to glean what I can from the books about how to successfully portray the future I am trying to depict.

Bottles: Five in the course of two days here in Colorado!  The above, of course, as well as La Cana 2009 Albarino, Chateau Roumieu-Lacoste 2006 Sauternes, Orin Swift The Prisoner 2009, and Franciscan Estate 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Writing: Taking copious notes on Into the Shining Sun, seeing where I want it to go.  Also need to make a map of the house to make sure I am consistent with sunlight!

Guitar: Being that the guitar is in Kansas City, I have not had much chance to play lately.