2019 Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Margarita Ranch is an AVA established in 2014 as one of 11 specific designated sites within the wider Paso Robles viticultural area on California's Central Coast. Santa Margarita is the southernmost of the Paso Robles sub-regions and is the only territory not adjacent to any other AVAs. It takes its name from a historic Spanish mission built in the region as an outpost for the greater Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, with the lands around the outpost being known as "Santa Margarita Rancho". The soils of this vineyard are remarkable for their diversity. There are five types of soil in the site: Ancient Seabed (this area is loaded with very old oyster shells), Shale, Volcanic, Rocky Alluvium, and Granitic.
The Margarita Vineyard is just under 860 acres in size, and is planted to a wide diversity of grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Muscat Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Viognier.
The climate is marine influenced, allowing for cool Pacific air which results “in an extended growing season that yields fruit of uncommon depth and structure.” In 2017, the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest started on November 10. After fermentation, the wine was racked to a combination of French and American Oak and aged for 22 months before blending and bottling.
This 2019 is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot (for a dark berry dimension and mid-palate weight), 3% Cabernet Franc (“aromatic lift”), 3% Petite Sirah and 2% Petite Verdot (both for added “color intensity and structural dimension”).
Color: Deep, dark purplish hue, almost opaque.
Aromatics: Powerful fruit notes, especially red plum, followed by subtle mineral notes
Taste Profile: Fairly tart, dry, medium to medium-full bodied, with balanced medium tannins, rich flavors of red fruits, especially red plum, accompanied by floral notes and minerals.
Food Pairings: braised beef short ribs, roasted leg of lamb, grilled BBQ chicken thighs or duck breasts.
By Don Clemens