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On certain wines, such as our Petit Verdot, we make note of aging the wine in “tightly grained” oak barrels, which may raise the question: why does oak grain matter? Let us explain…
The notion of tightly grained wood is fairly self evident. Most woods, including oak, come in different grains, depending on the species and where they are grown. Some are more widely grained, others are more tightly packed.
Now, in the wine aging process, wide-grained oak tends to produce a wine that has a more pronounced oak and wood tannin character. In other words, if you want your wine to taste more oaky, or if you have a powerful wine that needs a more assertive oak balance, you might veer toward wide-grained oak.
On the flipside, tight-grained wood is more restrained in its influence. So if you want the oak character of the wine to be more subtle, then you will choose tight-grained oak for aging.
One example is our aforementioned Petit Verdot. In the words of Winemaker Stewart Cameron, “Petit Verdot has some unique varietal flavor profiles that no other Bordeaux varieties have, and we want to keep those at the forefront of the wine. We don’t want it to taste like French oak, so we choose wood with a tight grain and lighter toasting to produce a wine that is varietally true.”
On a more powerful wine, however, such as our Petite Sirah, Stewart might loosen the reins on the grain to ensure that the oak influence is sufficiently present.
And therein lies the significance of oak grain. Ultimately, it’s just one of many arrows in the winemaker’s quiver for guiding the style of a given wine.
We view our wine club members as part of our extended family, which is why we go all out to offer them some of the best benefits and festivities in the industry. Click here to see some of the many experiences we offer to members.
One of our latest club initiatives is to solicit questions from members about each wine club shipment, and then get thoughts on them from winemakers Mike Sinor and Stewart Cameron.
The result is our new "AP ClubCast." Even if you're not a member, you might enjoy the winemakers' insights on a range of topics, including how long to age wines and what distinguishes our reserve bottlings.
Our next AP ClubCast will be pegged to the September club shipment. Stay tuned...or better yet, join the club and join the fun!
In warmer climates, Sauvignon Blanc veers more toward a riper, more tropical character (think Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc). In cooler climates, it becomes more racy and pungent (think New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc).
Generally speaking, Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc typically exhibits more of a warm climate character, but there are exceptions. Which brings us to our new release 2014 Sauvignon Blanc…
As with previous vintages, the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc reflects ample qualities that you might associate with cool climate Sauvignon Blanc, including notes of gooseberry, lime and mineral.
This is a direct reflection of the vineyard’s pronounced marine influence, as the Pacific Ocean is just 14 miles away. In fact, the vineyard occupies one of the coolest growing areas to be found in the entire Paso Robles region.
At the same time, this wine isn’t quite as racy as its New Zealand brethren. There are sunnier aspects of pineapple and melon that speak to the dry and early Paso Robles growing season of 2014.
We invite you to come sample the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc at our tasting room. It also happens to be our first release featuring the brand new look for Ancient Peaks wines!