It was Christmas Eve 2010 and the crew at Station Plaza was awaiting the magnum of Saxum James Berry Bone Rock 2006 that we were going to enjoy once the endless waves of customers slowed down. Christmas Eve is the busiest day (by customer count) in a retail wine shop and the customers seem to come in 5-10 at a time creating a bit of mayhem, but our customers are patient with us and always enjoy a taste of wine at the tasting bar while browsing around. So, things slowed just enough for us to open the bottle and pour it in to the decanter. How could we resist a small taste? The wine was big, full and tight as hell. We figured in 30-60 it will be ready so we popped a Krug to toast Christmas and a very busy year at SPW. The Krug was refreshing and super yeasty, the nose was like a fresh French baguette right out of the oven. The taste was sharp, crisp and refreshing at the same time – we enjoyed it. Another small wave of customers enters and some made it in for the rest of the Krug. Then it was back to the Saxum. It had a lot of lavender and liquorish but was not balanced and still wound up tighter than a Fort Knox. We decided to pour it back in the bottle and pop a valpolicella. I won’t say which one because it a disappointment, but it is a big name. So we were determined to have a nice bottle of red for Christmas Eve and I’m sure we did, but no one can remember what it was.
Two days later, on Sunday we open and start cleaning up from the Christmas rush and there it is, sitting on the tasting bar 85% full – The magnum of Saxum. We look at it and keep working until two good customers come in and ask what’s open at the tasting bar. It was snowing like crazy outside, Christmas was one day behind us and it was the perfect setting for a real good glass of red – I figure why not and pour them a Saxum, THEY WERE BLOWN AWAY! So was I. This wine turned in to one of the best I have ever had over the last 40 hours. I kid you not ,the customers did not leave until the magnum was empty. There are a few bottles that you have and will always remember the time, place and company when you drank it and this is one of them for me.
Moral of the story, let big wines open, sometimes for more than a day.
My thoughts on Saxum: Justin and Heather Smith the owners and winemakers are rising stars and Saxum wine is going to become the next super hot Cult wine. The James Berry 2007 was the Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator and the 08’s are going to create just as much a buzz. Here’s a video of Justin Smith: