Still a well kept secret, even though this wine has been on our roster since 2001! This effort is quintessential Double Down: drinking like a bucketful of berries. SO affordable and SO popular! A special gift for a loved one or simply for yourself. A monumental value in this price range. Double Down is a "house red" for legions of our wine club members. Don't miss it!
Robert Parker Wine Advocate 90+ Points
Our most popular wine. Preceded by 90+ Robert Parker scores, this crowd pleaser features purplish black color. Rhone-like. Incredibly ripe, rich, and bright fruit. Collaboration of blackberries, blueberries, crème de cassis, and violets. Generous wine, juicy, smoky, jubilant and just plain fun. A hedonistic turn-on at a reasonable price. Beautifully integrated Remond French Oak. Grown in the block of vines to your right as you enter the property and make the turn towards the winery/tasting room.
Free Shipping, Solid Case, $399
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (8/27/15): "Coming from the Watch Hill Vineyard and made from 100% Syrah, the 2010 Maximus Black Pearl is another delicious, well-made wine from this estate. Black raspberry, cassis, vanilla bean, and carmelized meat-like characteristics all flow nicely to a medium to full-bodied, ripe, textured syrah that has plenty of mid-palate depth and sweet tannin. I like it. It will have a decade or more of longevity. Anticipated maturity: through 2022." Our notes: Another big time success from the Watch Hill Vineyard. Following the renowned 2007 Black Pearl, the fruit for this super reserve now comes from clone 174 syrah grown on 5C rootstock in rows 74-84 of block 1D of the gorgeous Watch Hill property off Alisos Canyon road north of Los Olivos. Impressive concentration, velvety texture, we like to say it drinks like the inside of a chocolate covered cherry! Our humble opinion? This is a 95 point wine we have evaluated throughout its elevage. Buy with confidence, it's a blockbuster.
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From the center western hills of the Blackjack Ranch Estate Vineyard comes our annual Maximus Reserve Syrah. Forty degree slopes assure this fruit achieves the depth and complexity you've come to expect. Many don't realize this, but greatness in winemaking is achieved from farming vines on the SIDE of a hill. Flat bottom land or hill tops are a different terroir. The much thinner soil of a hillside offers the opportunity to make the vine work hard to produce great fruit. Our "Sideways" wine, the very same as Miles and Jack enjoyed in the film. The Wine Advocate (Issue 226): "The 2010 Maximus offers plenty of currants, licorice, and darker fruits in its gamy medium to full bodied complex and Northern Rhone-like personality. I find plenty to like here. Enjoy through 2022"
As always, grown on the center west hills of Blackjack Ranch on steep sloping hillsides. That's where the depth, black and blue fruits, and complexity come from. The Wine Advocate (Issue 226):" The 2011 Syrah Maximus has a meaty, smoky, earthy and black-fruit driven bouquet. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated syrah that shows the cooler, fresher style of the vintage, yet still has plenty of texture and length. It's drinking beautifully today, but will hold through 2023."
Positively Glorious !!
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 226): "Another beautiful wine. 100% syrah that was raised 18 months in French Oak barrels. Notes of blackberries, plums, olive, smoked herbs and licorice all emerge from the full-bodied, deep, rich, even gamy syrah that has a killer mid-palate and ample ripe tannins. It benefits from a decant and will have 10-15 years of overall longevity." Our thoughts for a pairing? How about a classic Beef Stroganoff? We're drooling already...hurry up and order!
The beat goes on! In a region where syrah grows so beautifully, our Maximus occupies the weightier end of the spectrum: lots of tannic muscle, lots of intense fruit. Wine Advocate (Issue 226): "Another big, rich concentrated wine offering lots of barbecue smoke, black fruits, licorice, scorched earth and hints of chocolate in a medium to full-bodied, mouth-filling style. It has a soft mid-palate and should easily cruise through 2023."
The Wine Advocate (Issue 226): "A big rich, concentrated effort that offers tons of ripe blackberry, smoked earth, pepper and bouquet gami, the 2014 Maximus hits the palate with full bodied richness, a big, stacked mid-palate and a big finish. There's ample structure and density here, and it really needs 4-5 years of cellaring. Drink through 2028." I guess the key word here is again "big" !! Cellar it, drink it now; there's no way to go wrong with a Maximus purchase...
Our 'Sideways' Wine
OUR "SIDEWAYS" WINE. Yes indeed, this is our featured wine in the film “Sideways”. In the continuity of the film, Jack and Miles taste Blackjack Ranch Maximus on “Monday” morning following breakfast in Solvang as their first stop of the day. The tasting begins 30 minutes, 16 seconds into the movie. The tasting room host proclaims: “This is our Syrah.” Miles lifts his glass to his nose and exclaims “Oooh!” Jack inquires: “Yeah, you like it?” Miles enthusiastically and emphatically responds: “That’s a BIG one!!!” (Our “Sideways” stills of their tasting are located on the east and west walls of the Tasting Room). The Syrah Maximus exhibits a deep ruby/purple color in addition to subtle, but sweet aromas of barbecue smoke, blackberries, cassis, licorice, saddle leather, and earth. It is a powerful, layered, ripe wine with moderately high tannin as well as admirable purity and persistence. Give it another 12-18 months of bottle age, and enjoy it over the following decade. Need we say more?