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PAX 2012 Vintage Reviews

2012 PAX Grenache Alder Springs Vineyard 93
Much more intense than the Castelli Knight Ranch, the 2012 Grenache Alder Springs Vineyard bursts onto the palate with superb intensity. The style is explosive, powerful and vibrant, with great presence and tons of vintage 2012 generosity. There is a lot to look forward to.
Drinking Window 2015-2022. (Vinous, Antonio Galloni, Feb. 2014)

2012 PAX Grenache, Alder Springs Vineyard 93-95
Made from 100% Grenache, the 2012 Grenache Alder Springs Vineyard displays a dense ruby/purple color, lots of black fruits, a full-bodied richness, impressive purity, a floral component, and good minerality. Drink it over the next 5-7 years.
Drink: 2013 – 2020 (Wine Advocate #210, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Dec. 2013)

2012 PAX Grenache, Spirit Rock Terraces Alder Springs 90
The 2012 Grenache Spirit Rock Terraces Alder Springs Vineyard is a tiny 100% Grenache cuvée of just 47 cases coming from the Alban clone, which I believe was suitcased from famous Château Rayas of Châteauneuf du Pape, planted at 2,700-foot elevation, the highest point of this well-known vineyard in Mendocino. Fresh raspberry and wild strawberry notes jump from the glass of this wine. Crisp acid, medium body and a very distinctive Grenache character, which is quite singular and more tart and zesty than one finds in France, are present in this interesting wine. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.
Drink: 2015 – 2020 (eRobertParker.com #216, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Dec. 2014)

2012 PAX Grenache Castelli Knight Ranch 91
Sage, rosemary, dark red stone fruits and licorice are some of the many notes that emerge from the 2012 Grenache Castelli Knight Ranch. Layered and voluptuous on the palate, the 2012 is striking for its volume and textural finesse. Brighter notes appear over time, adding lift and further complexity. The 2012 is a bit of a hybrid, as the blend is 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah, but all the elements are very nicely balanced.
Drinking Window 2015-2022.(Vinous, Antonio Galloni, Feb. 2014)

2012 PAX Grenache, Castelli Knight Ranch 91
The 2012 Grenache Castelli-Knight Ranch is 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah. Displaying notes of roasted herbs, kirsch liqueur, licorice and earth and a deep ruby/purple-tinged character, the wine has beautiful texture, medium to full body and a nice, pure, lovely silky finish. Drink it over the next 5-6 years.
Drink: 2015 – 2021 (eRobertParker.com #216, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Dec. 2014)

2012 PAX Grenache Castelli-Knight Ranch Russian River Valley 92
Saturated ruby. Seductively perfumed aromas of dark berry preserves, potpourri and spicecake, along with a bright mineral overtone. Sweet and seamless on the palate, showing very good depth and a creaminess to its spicy black raspberry and mulberry flavors. Finishes sweet, floral and long, with supple tannins adding shape. I find this ample, dark-fruited grenache quite accessible now.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2014)

2012 PAX James Berry Vineyard 89
The 2012 James Berry Proprietary Red is actually 80% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan. A relatively small cuvée from that great first-growth site in Paso Robles, with all these grapes cofermented, the result is a luscious, soft, wine with notes of chalk, kirsch liqueur, lavender and hints of raspberry and blueberry fruit. Medium-bodied, stylish and tasting as if these four grapes could be made in the way a Burgundian would make Pinot Noir, 100% stems were used, so maybe that explains it. This is a lovely, seductive wine to drink over the next 4-5 years.
Drink: 2015 – 2020 (eRobertParker.com #216, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Dec. 2014)

2012 PAX James Berry Vineyard Red Wine Paso Robles 94
(80% grenache, 10% mourvedre, 5% carignane and 5% syrah): Bright violet color. Dark fruit preserves, cherry-cola, five-spice powder and potpourri on the exotically perfumed nose. Lush and expansive on the palate, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry, cherry compote and lavender flavors that are lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity. Suave, round and broad on a strikingly persistent finish that features fine-grained tannins and lingering berry and floral qualities.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2014)

2012 PAX Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard 93+
The 2012 Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard wraps around the palate with serious power. Black stone fruits, smoke, tar and licorice emerge from a deep, resonant wine endowed with tons of personality and class. The tannins are firm at this stage, but there is also more than enough pure voluptuousness in the fruit to provide balance. Drinking Window 2016-2022.
(Vinous, Antonio Galloni, Feb. 2014)

2012 PAX Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard (92-94)
The 2012 Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard comes from a parcel of 6-year-old vines planted close to the Pacific Ocean. It exhibits terrific blackberry and cassis fruit, a floral note, and a big, full-bodied, meaty mouthfeel. It should drink well for a decade.
(Wine Advocate #210, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Dec. 2013) (Not yet released)

2012 PAX Syrah Cahto Ridge Alder Springs Vineyard 91
The outstanding 2012 Syrah Cahto Ridge Alder Springs Vineyard is 100% Syrah and has terrific aromatics ranging from black olives to blackcurrants to cherries. Some tart, zesty acidity buttresses a relatively full-bodied wine (14.9% alcohol) with intense color, elegant berry fruit , some earthy notes and a peppery, spicy finish.
Drink it over the next 7-8 years. (eRobertParker.com #216, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Dec. 2014)

2012 PAX Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Cahto Ridge Mendocino County 93
Dark purple. A sexy, spice- and floral-accented bouquet evokes black and blue fruit liqueur, candied violet and cola, with a smoky quality that builds with air. Fleshy and silky in texture, with impressive depth and energy to its blueberry and floral pastille flavors, which become spicier with air. A nervy mineral quality adds vivacity to the finish, framed by smooth, slow-building tannins.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2014)

2012 PAX Syrah Griffins Lair Vineyard 95
My favorite wine of all the 2012s was the 2012 Syrah Griffin’s Lair Vineyard (274 cases). Opaque purple-colored with notes of beef blood, bouquet garni, volcanic, scorched earth and wet pebbles, the wine is complex, has great intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish. This is terrific Syrah that seems to represent a wonderful, hypothetical blend between the elegance of French wine and the power and purity of California’s stunning fruit.
(eRobertParker.com #216, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Dec. 2014)

2012 PAX Syrah Griffins Lair Vineyard 94+
Graphite, crushed rocks, smoke, mint, melted road tar and black fruits take shape in the 2012 Syrah Griffins Lair Vineyard. A massive, powerful wine, the 2012 gives the impression of needind time for the tannins to soften, but I am not sure that will ever fully happen. The 2012 is an intense, thrilling wine, that is sure, but I also expect it will always be quite structured in style.
Drinking Window 2016-2022. (Vinous, Antonio Galloni, Feb. 2014)

2012 PAX Syrah Griffin’S Lair Sonoma Coast 93
Inky purple. Exotic aromas of candied dark berries, fruitcake and dried flowers. Lush and creamy in texture, offering sweet blackberry and blueberry flavors and a suave floral undertone. Becomes spicier and more lively with aeration, picking up star anise and allspice qualities that carry through a long, intensely perfumed and youthfully tannic finish.
(IWC, Stephen Tanzer, May 2014)

2012 PAX Syrah Castelli Knight Ranch (95-97)
More floral, earthy, peppery and spicy notes are found in the full-bodied 2012 Syrah Castelli-Knight Ranch. The biggest cuvee in this portfolio, it possesses a deep ruby/purple color along with a phenomenal bouquet of spring flowers, blackberries, truffles, licorice and lavender. Deep, full-bodied and multi-dimensional, this stunning Syrah showcases Pax Mahle’s winemaking talents. Drink it over the next decade. (Not yet released) (eRobertParker.com #210, Robert M. Parker, Jr.,Dec. 2013)

Pax Mahle had the creative idea of matching the soil color of the different vineyards he utilizes with the color of “Pax.” For instance, the white, chalky, limestone soils of the James Berry Vineyard merit a white “Pax” label, etc.

2012 PAX Syrah Castelli-Knight Ranch Russian River Valley 93
Opaque purple. Vibrant blackberry and floral pastille scents are complicated by notes of star anise, minerals and woodsmoke. Sweet, seamless and expansive in the mouth, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors, a touch of olive and bracing acidity that adds lift and cut. Lots going on here now but this is a really young wine. Finishes with excellent clarity and length and a persistent floral note.
(IWC, Josh Raynolds, May 2014)

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