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Since day one, Cabernet Sauvignon has been a focal point of the Ancient Peaks experience, as we recognized early on that our estate Margarita Vineyard was a premier site for the variety.
In 2016, we were blessed with optimal growing conditions, allowing us to produce a classic example of Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. We also incorporated small lots of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah in the final blend to enhance the wine’s color, structure and intensity.
In the above video, Director of Winemaking Mike Sinor shares insights into this new release, which is now available at our Paso Robles wine tasting room.
Our Oyster Ridge cuvée honors an outcropping in our estate Margarita Vineyard that never fails to astonish. Here, large white oyster fossils are literally spilling out of the ground, fostering the type of calcium-rich soil that is coveted by winemakers worldwide.
Each year, this cuvée comes from superior sections of the vineyard that are fastidiously farmed to maximize the fruit’s potential and meet the standards of the Oyster Ridge program.
The final blend is assembled from only those barrels that exhibit exemplary complexity, structure and aging potential, often resulting in an unconventional union of varietals.
This brings us to the 2014 vintage, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (51%), Merlot (36%), Syrah (5%), Petite Sirah (5%) and Malbec (3%). The mouthfeel of this wine is broad and plush, framed by luscious accents of new oak. Lively acidity and long tannins converge with impeccable balance on a sleek, structured finish
We are proud to share that this vintage is ringing the bells of top wine critics, as noted below. We invite you to experience this remarkable wine at our tasting room, and you may also order right here on our web site.
“94 POINTS…Plush with layered flavors of lavender to mulled plum and blackberry to dusted cocoa.”
-Tasting Panel Magazine
“92 POINTS…Firmly structured…Possessing great harmony and depth.”
-Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
“91 POINTS…Wall-to-wall flavors offer complexity, texture, richness and length…Long and fulfilling on the finish.”
We are excited to share that our 2015 Zinfandel has earned a rating of 90 points in The Wine Spectator, where critic Tim Fish described the wine as "a lively, zesty Zinfandel that offers charm and good structure, with blackberry, licorice and white pepper flavors.”
This wine comes from our estate Margarita Vineyard, where the Zinfandel fruit (pictured here) achieves a signature balance of both ripenesss and structure.
Meanwhile, our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc recently notched 91 points with an “Editor’s Choice” designation in Wine Enthusiast, as well as 92 points in Tasting Panel Magazine.
The 2014 Oyster Ridge included in your last shipment was awarded a Double Gold medal and earned the distinction of Class Champion at the prestigious 2018 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition in Houston, Texas. It also scored 90 points in California Grapevine, and 92 points in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate.
And the 2015 Renegade earned 93 points and an “Editor’s Choice” designation in Wine Enthusiast, along with 93 points from Tasting Panel Magazine.
We invite you to come to our Paso Robles tasting room to try these acclaimed wines, and to also enjoy a bit at our adjoining cafe.
We are excited to share that our 2015 Zinfandel earned a gold medal and "Best in Class" at the prestigious 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Our 2016 Chardonnay nabbed a gold medal as well.
This year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition received 6,960 entries, and was judged by an all-star cast of wine authorities.
Our good news doesn't end there. The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc recently notched 91 points with an “Editor’s Choice” designation in Wine Enthusiast. Meanwhile, the 2015 Renegade earned 93 points and an “Editor’s Choice” designation in Wine Enthusiast, along with 93 points from Tasting Panel Magazine.
And our 2014 Oyster Ridge earned 92 points in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, and was awarded a Double Gold medal with the distinction of Class Champion at the 2018 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition in Houston, Texas.
We invite you to come to our Paso Robles tasting room to experience these award-winning vintages.
We are excited to share that our 2014 Oyster Ridge red blend won a Double Gold medal and earned the distinction of Class Champion at the prestigious 2018 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition in Houston, Texas. Additionally, our 2015 Renegade red blend also earned a Double Gold medal.
This 15th annual competition was a record-breaking event with 3,188 wine entries, which were evaluated by 120 judges. The results were verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Each year, we craft the limited-edition Oyster Ridge cuvée to exemplify our finest winemaking efforts. The 2014 vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (51%), Merlot (36%), Syrah (5%), Petite Sirah (5%) and Malbec (3%), all from meticulously farmed vineyard blocks cultivated for the Oyster Ridge program.
The 2014 Oyster Ridge has also earned a rating of 92 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, while the 2015 Renegade was recently accorded a score of 93 points by Wine Enthusiast.
We invite you to experience these wines at our Paso Robles tasting room and winery cafe.
We will file this one to perfect timing...
Shortly after we spotlighted our new release 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon in our previous blog entry, we learned of another blog post featuring the same wine. Indeed, our Cabernet Sauvignon was showcased in the Official Whole Foods Market Blog in a piece by Devon Broglie, master sommelier and the global beverage buyer at Whole Foods Market.
Under the title of "More Can’t Miss Summer Favorites," Mr. Broglie wrote: "And you can put Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon up against way more expensive wines any day. A classic Paso Robles cab — dense, ripe, toasty. Yes with a perfectly grilled rib-eye."
Click here to read the full piece, which provides some great insights into other summer picks and trends.
If you are looking for a wine that epitomizes Ancient Peaks, it might just be our Renegade red blend, and specifically the new release 2015 vintage now available at our tasting room.
The name Renegade not only speaks to the western heritage of Santa Margarita Ranch, but also to the unconventional "outlaw" nature of the blend itself. This is a wine that is constantly evolving, but the vision always remains the same—to craft a rich, boldly flavored blend that nevertheless exhibits structure and finesse.
Syrah typically leads the way with its rich dark fruit qualities. From there, it all depends on what the vintage delivers. There are no rules, and that is the point. For the 2015 Renegade, the final blend is Syrah 55%, Zinfandel 27%, Petite Sirah 13% and Petit Verdot 5%. Needless to day, it is a blend that defies tradition.
There has been one constant since our first vintage of Renegade in 2009, and that is the fact that it has consistently been one of our highest-rated wines. We invite you to come out to try it at our Paso Robles wine country tasting room in Santa Margarita.
The wildflowers are blooming, the temperatures are warming and spring is in the air, which means the dry rosé wine season is upon us.
Fittingly, we have just released our 2016 Rosé in our tasting room, and as you can see in the video above, it is full of spring fever.
Modeled after the refreshingly dry rosés of Europe, the 2016 Rosé is made wholly from Pinot Noir from our estate Margarita Vineyard. It seduces the nose with lively scents of pear, green apple, citrus zest and jasmine. A clean, quenching texture is counterbalanced with rounded flavors of dried cherry, strawberry, kiwi and peach. Hints of pink grapefruit linger on a crisp, tangy finish.
Come try it at our tasting room in Santa Margarita, and while you're at it, pair it with a bite from the Ancient Peaks Cafe, one of the best places to eat in Paso Robles.
If our winery was in France, we’d be breaking the law with several of our wines.
Indeed, in the traditional Old World wine regions, the types of grape varieties you can grow and blend are highly regulated (ie: certain varieties are allowed in Bordeaux, others in the Rhone Valley). By comparison, we live in the proverbial Wild West, and we take full advantage of our winemaking freedoms.
Case in point: the imminent new release of our 2015 Renegade. This red blend combines a signature Rhone variety (Syrah), a signature Bordeaux variety (Petit Verdot) and a classic California variety (Zinfandel), along with another variety that has made its name here in the Golden State (Petite Sirah). The idea is to leverage the silky black fruit of Syrah while complementing it with the intensity and structure of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot.
Meantime, our limited-production Blanco white blend combines Chardonnay with Muscat, while the latest vintage of our crown jewel—Oyster Ridge—is a classic Bordeaux-style blend that comes with a signature twist of Petite Sirah. Again, the Petite Sirah adds just a hint of intensity that takes it to the next level.
However, the point isn’t to break from old winemaking traditions just for the fun of it. In fact, these traditions were established precisely because there is a proven synergy between certain grape varieties. As such, these traditions are worthy of respect.
At the same time, we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t push the envelope, in recognition of the fact that our growing conditions here at Margarita Vineyard are not only quite different from Europe, but even unique within our home region of Paso Robles.
This is how you end up with a blend like Renegade, which flies in the face of tradition; and Oyster Ridge, which is largely traditional, but still with its own twist.
In other words, sometimes we are faithful to tradition, sometimes we bend the rules, and when it’s best for the wine, we break them.
We are pleased to share that four of our wines earned gold medals at the recent 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Netting the golds were the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Merlot, 2014 Zinfandel and 2014 Renegade--essentially all of the reds in our core broad-market portfolio.
We have long said that 2014 was a banner vintage at our estate Margarita Vineyard, and these results are further confirmation.
You can try all of these 2014 wines at our tasting room (which is also one of the best places to eat in the Paso Robles wine country at the Ancient Peaks Cafe!).