Ancient Peaks Zinfandel 2020, Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, California

The estate Margarita Vineyard stands alone and apart as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, tucked beneath the peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here, in the Santa Margarita Ranch AVA, the vines unfold along a rare diversity of 5 soil types – ancient sea bed, rocky alluvium, shale, volcanic and granite – amid one of Paso Robles’ coolest growing environments. The resulting wines express an unmistakable sense of place, with fine structure and deep flavors that are native to Margarita Vineyard. The Zinfandel comes from five separate blocks, with each contributing to a larger sense of character and complexity in the finished wine. Prior to fermentation, the lots were cold soaked for 48 hours for a soft extraction of flavor and color. After fermentation and light pressing, the individual lots were racked to a combination of French and American oak barrels (20% new oak), where they aged for 18 months prior to blending and bottling. The barrels were minimally racked during aging to preserve varietal aromatics. A small lot of Syrah from Margarita Vineyard was incorporated into the final blend for added mixed berry character and enhanced complexity. 2020 varietal composition: 86% Zinfandel, 14% Syrah. The 2020 Zinfandel makes an immediate statement with bright, jammy aromas of raspberry, cinnamon spice and vanilla cream. Luscious, rounded flavors of red cherry, raspberry and blackberry unfold across a beautifully weighted mouthfeel, all under pinned by deeper hints of roast coffee and black pepper. Smooth, juicy acidity brings impressive balance to a uniquely elegant finish.