Our Wine Wednesdays, include one *free sample from each of our hand selected fine wine features (up to four wines). This week we welcome Jenalyn Johnson, Ancient Peaks Winery, Mid-Atlantic Sales Specialist.
Margarita Vineyard stands alone and apart as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, and as the only vineyard in the Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. Ancient Peaks’ Margarita Vineyard is the only vineyard located in the Santa Margarita Ranch AVA of Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast. The Santa Margarita Ranch AVA is distinguished by one of the coolest, longest growing seasons in the Paso Robles region. It also features a rare diversity of soil types—a testament to the tectonic friction that created the surrounding Santa Lucia mountain peaks.
ANCIENT PEAKS CHARDONNAY PASO ROBLES
The winemaking vision of the 2018 Chardonnay is to produce a wine that strikes a fine balance between the leaner and richer styles of the varietal, in order to offer a versatile, food-friendly Chardonnay. The 2018 growing season was steady from start to finish, yielding Chardonnay fruit with excellent natural balance. After harvesting and light pressing, the juice was primarily cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks for the preservation of delicate aromatics and acidity. A portion of the wine (12%) was fermented and aged in French oak barrels to develop an added sense of roundness. This oak-aged lot also underwent secondary malolactic fermentation, which ultimately lent a fitting touch of creaminess to the wine’s otherwise crisp texture. The 2018 Chardonnay offers enticing tropical aromas of pineapple, papaya and banana with suggestions of citrus and spice. A soft, seamless texture continues on a tropical note, with accentuating layers of peach, apricot and green apple. A smooth, integrated finish is enlivened by crisp acidity and lingering minerality.
ANCIENT PEAKS MERLOT
We blend fruit from multiple Merlot blocks that exhibit a range of distinct qualities, bringing added natural complexity and dimension to the finished wine. These blocks are situated along the slopes of an uplifted ancient sea bed, where the well-drained, calcium-rich soils are distinguished by decomposing oyster fossils. Our aim is to capture the signature velvety fruit character of Merlot while showcasing the fine structure inherent to Margarita Vineyard. The 2017 growing season was excellent for Merlot at Margarita Vineyard, with steady harvest weather that delivered rich, balanced fruit. After destemming, the lots were cold soaked for 48 hours prior to fermentation for a gentle extraction of initial color and flavor. After fermentation and light pressing, the lots were aged for 20 months in a combination of French (60%) and American (40%) oak barrels, 25 percent of which featured new oak. A small lot of Zinfandel from Margarita Vineyard was incorporated into the final blend to amplify mid-palate fruitiness.TASTING NOTES The 2017 Merlot opens with dusty aromas of boysenberry, black cherry, vanilla and toasted oak. A soft, rounded texture delivers mouthfilling flavors of blueberry, blackberry, cinnamon, dark chocolate and cola. Velvety tannins are finely integrated into a rich, chewy finish.
ANCIENT PEAKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON
The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit comes from four distinct blocks at Margarita Vineyard. At Block 50, a mixture of shale and rocky alluvium soils promotes naturally low vigor for the development of dark, intensely flavored fruit. The soils are less rocky at nearby Block 49, where the flavors lean more toward the red fruit spectrum. At blocks 14 and 15, ancient sea bed soils and cooler growing conditions yield fruit with earthier structure and firmer tannins. The qualities of these blocks combine to bring dimension and nuance to the final blend. fter fermentation, the wine was racked to a combination of French and American oak barrels, where it aged for 22 months prior to blending and bottling. An inclusion of Merlot from Margarita Vineyard contributed dark berry dimension and mid-palate weight, while a dash of Cabernet Franc brought aromatic lift. Additionally, small percentages of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah created enhanced color intensity and structural dimension in the final blend, TASTING NOTES The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon presents an enticing bouquet of black olive, leather, caramel and coffee. The palate is smooth and layered, revealing prodigious flavors of cherry, plum, blueberry and cassis with trailing hits of mint and toasted oak. Juicy acidity and sumptuous tannins add length to a resoundingly elegant finish.
ANCIENT PEAKS RENEGADE RED
Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. The Renegade comes from our estate Margarita Vineyard on the historic Santa Margarita Ranch. From missionaries to gunslingers, roughriders to outlaws, a colorful cast of characters has traversed the ranch’s rugged terrain since the 18th century. In that spirit, we have made an intensely flavored blend that pushes the envelope and resists conformity, adding an adventurous twist to our family of wines. Defiantly bold and daringly elegant—this is Renegade. The winemaking vision of Renegade is to craft a rich, boldly flavored wine with structure and finesse. After fermentation, the individual lots were aged for 19 months in a combination of French (55%) and American oak (45%) barrels, including a total of 25 percent new oak. A majority of the Syrah was aged in barrels with medium-plus toasting to accentuate the varietal’s savory, smoky nuances. In the final blend, Syrah sets the tone with deep black fruit and savory nuances. The Malbec brings juiciness to the mid-palate, while the Petit Verdot intensifies the overall color, concentration and tannin profile. The Zinfandel adds a complement of bright spicy fruit. Lastly, the Petite Sirah layers in dark fruit flavors and notes of black pepper. TASTING NOTES The 2017 Renegade is loaded with enticing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, vanilla, sandalwood and savory tobacco. A rich, juicy texture reveals flavors of black cherry, boysenberry, cedar, cocoa and baking spice. A lingering jammy fruit character is joined by black pepper spiciness on a smooth, rounded finish.
*tasting free with purchase of $10 or more per guest