Ancient Peaks’ Margarita Vineyard in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA is the southernmost vineyard in Paso Robles. Nestled into the rugged Santa Lucia Mountain range just 22 km from the Pacific Ocean, Margarita Vineyards features a rare diversity of soils churned up by the tectonic forces that created the mountain peaks. The mountains act as a gateway that draws in cool ocean air, and this cool microclimate extends the growing season. Fruit grown here develops exceptional depth and structure.
This Cabernet draws fruit comes from four distinct blocks of Margarita Vineyard. The rocky shale of Block 50 promotes naturally low vigour and dark, intensely-flavoured fruit. The soils are less rocky at nearby Block 49, where the flavours lean toward red fruit. At Block 11, Block 14, and Block 15, ancient sea bed soils and cool growing conditions yield fruit with earthier structure and firm tannins. The qualities of these blocks combine to bring dimension and nuance to the final blend.
Following a 48-hour cold soak to extract colour and flavour, wine was fermented and racked to French and American oak, where it aged for 16 months prior to blending and bottling.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon presents dark fruit aromas of black cherry and cassis with suggestions of black olive, graphite, and tobacco leaf. A broad, mouthfilling texture unfolds with flavours of red cherry, currant, blackberry, and kirsch. Lingering notes of cedar, anise, and clove spice are woven into a juicy, lively finish.
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a terrific value and is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, and the rest Petite Sirah. It has a Bordeaux-ish bouquet of new saddle leather, cedarwood, tobacco leaf, and smoky black fruits as well as medium body, plenty of fruit, sweet tannins, and a good finish. It’s not going to make old bones, but it has serious character, and I’d happily drink bottles over the coming 4-6 years.”
90 points, Jeb Dunnuck, Dec 2018
“Floral aromas of violet and cherry blossom drop into rich black-cherry and cocoa tones on the nose of this widely available bottling. The palate is juicy in black cherry and blackberry flavors, with accents of oak and cracked pepper, all framed by a chalky texture.”
90 points, Wine Enthusiast, March 2019