PAX 2010 Vintage Reviews

2010 PAX The Vicar 88
A Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah blend, the 2010 The Vicar is a Rhone blend of another big wine bursting with fruit. Tar, licorice and smoke all emerge over time, but the tannins never lose an element of edginess that detracts from the wine’s otherwise solid balance. Mahle used 100% whole clusters and aged the 2010 in puncheons for 18 months. In 2010 the Vicar is sourced from Castelli-Knight, Bedrock, Griffins Lair and Alder Springs.
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.(Wine Advocate #206, Antonio Galloni, April 2013)

2010 PAX Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah The Vicar North Coast 92
(made with 100% whole clusters and entirely in neutral oak): Deep red. Exotic, expansive aromas of raspberry and cherry compote, potpourri and woodsmoke, with strong spicy lift. Lush and deeply pitched but energetic, offering intense red fruit and Asian spice flavors and showing no rough edges. Finishes sappy and long, echoing the red fruit notes and showing very suave, harmonious tannins. Already approachable, especially for fruit freaks. This wine is made of 50% grenache, which was drawn from the Castelli-Knight and Alder Springs vineyards, 30% mourvedre from the Bedrock vineyard and 20% syrah from Griffin’s Lair and Castelli-Knight.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2013)

2010 PAX Syrah The Hermit 89
Pax’s 2010 Syrah The Hermit wraps around the palate with serious depth, richness and power. Dark cherries, plums, tobacco, incense and licorice all emerge from the glass in a Syrah that is quite rich and full-bodied for the year. There is no shortage of stuffing of material in the glass. As good as the Hermit is, I don’t quite find the same soul I see in many of the Pax Mahle’s Wind Gap wines.
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. (Wine Advocate #206, Antonio Galloni, April 2013)

2010 PAX Syrah The Hermit North Coast 91
(made from fruit grown in the Castelli-Knight Ranch, Griffin’s Lair and Alder Springs vineyards; 100% whole clusters and 18 months in oak, 30% of it new): Inky purple. Sexy, highly perfumed scents of red berry compote, cherry-cola and Indian spices, with a hint of white pepper emerging with air. Shows excellent energy and focus, offering vibrant raspberry liqueur and allspice flavors that gain sweetness with air. Soft tannins build on a long, silky finish, which strongly repeats the raspberry note. This wine has a fairly high pH of 3.85 and carries 14.7% alcohol but comes off lively and precise, with no undue weight.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2013)

2010 PAX Grenache James Berry Vineyard 89
Another solid offering, the 2010 Grenache James Berry Vineyard has good varietal character but less in the way of site-specific character, which is a shame, as James Berry is one of the truly great vineyard sites of California’s Central Coast. Dark red cherries and flowers are some of the nuances that struggle to emerge from a wine that remains a bit compact and not fully expressive, its striking inner perfume notwithstanding. Overall, the 2010 is a very good effort that is missing just a little sexiness.
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016. (Wine Advocate #, Antonio Galloni, April 2013)

2010 PAX Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard 89
The 2010 Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard is one of the better wines in the range. Black fruit, tar, smoke, licorice and incense are all woven together nicely. The 2010 has more than enough intensity and pure fruit to stand up to the firm tannins. The Alder Springs is another attractive wine that falls just a bit short of being truly exciting and distinctive.
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020. (Wine Advocate #206, Antonio Galloni, April 2013)

2010 PAX Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County 93
(made with 60% whole clusters and 30% new oak): Saturated ruby. Cherry and dark berry preserves on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice and olive tapenade. Lively, penetrating bitter cherry and blackberry flavors stain the palate, showing excellent clarity and a zesty mineral nuance that builds with air. Finishes very long, with gentle tannins and lingering sweetness, leaving a smoky cherry note behind.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2013)

2010 PAX Syrah Griffin’s Lair Vineyard 92
The 2010 Syrah Griffins Lair Vineyard opens with beguiling, expressive aromatics. Deep, rich and resonant, the 2010 impresses for its detail and pure nuance. The aromas and flavors are masculine and imposing. Smoke, tar, iron graphite and incense all add to the wine’s exotic personality. This full-bodied Syrah is extremely varietally expressive and full of life. In sum, this is a terrific showing.
Drinking Window 2014-2020. (Vinous, Antonio Galloni, July 2013)

2010 PAX Syrah Griffin’S Lair Sonoma Coast 93
(made with 75% whole clusters; 13.5% alcohol): Glass-staining ruby. A flamboyantly perfumed bouquet displays scents of cherry liqueur, cassis, bitter chocolate, anise and espresso, complicated by notes of dried flowers. Then youthful and vibrant in the mouth, offering energetic, finely etched flavors of ripe blackberry and boysenberry. Creamy and powerful but with excellent focus and vivacity. The sweet dark berry flavors linger impressively on the smooth, gently tannic finish.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2013)

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