2007 Saxon Brown, Syrah, Parmelee-Hill Camp Block, Sonoma Coast.
Jeff Gaffner’s wines are all interesting and well crafted, and he is certainly in demand given his success at Black Kite and here at Saxon Brown, making everything from Napa Cab, Sonoma Semillon to Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, plus fresh un-oaked Chardonnay, but it was this seemingly late release of the 2007 Saxon Brown Camp Block Syrah that got my attention at the Family Winemakers Tasting in San Francisco. I must say his latest Saxon Brown Semillon was lovely as well, though I was slightly more impressed with the Syrah which comes from the Parmelee Hill Vineyard, which is a fairly cool climate site. The 2007 Camp Block starts with a nice floral array, liqueur, earthy spices, smoke and camphor leading to a palate of boysenberry, plum and blueberry compote with gamey notes, white pepper and cedar along with touches of grilled fennel, tangy currants and dark fresh ground coffee beans. This 2007 is still very vigorous, vibrant and fresh on the palate and has good firm tannins, drink now through 2018. Be sure to check Saxon Brown out, they make a fine selection of artisan wines that offer plenty of value as well.
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive
Tasted at the Family Winemakers of California Tasting in San Francisco August 17, 2013