Cabernet Sauvignon is the longtime flagship wine of Ancient Peaks, helping drive the emergence of Paso Robles as a world-class region for this classic Bordeaux variety. At our estate Margarita Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon achieves both ripeness and balance amid one of the region’s coolest, longest growing seasons, all while drawing natural complexity from the vineyard’s uniquely complex soils.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon presents vivid varietal aromas of luscious black fruits with notes of cedar, pencil shaving and black olive. A deep, layered palate unfolds with heady flavors of black currant, blackberry and blueberry with suggestions of cherry, mint, vanilla, and toasted oak. Plump tannins and balanced acidity add length and structure to a richly integrated finish.
This wine comes from four distinct Cabernet Sauvignon blocks at Margarita Vineyard. At Block 50, a mixture of shale and rocky alluvium soils promotes naturally low vigor for the development of dark, intensely flavored fruit. The soils are less rocky at nearby Block 49, where the flavors lean more toward the red fruit spectrum. At blocks 6 and 15, ancient sea bed soils and cooler growing conditions yield fruit with earthier structure and firmer tannins. The qualities of these blocks combine to bring dimension and nuance to the final blend. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, nestled into the rugged Santa Lucia Mountain range just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils, ultimately fostering natural complexity in our wines.
The 2018 growing season started on a cool note after abundant March rains. A warm July gained ground on what was nevertheless a long, late harvest season, with the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit being picked through November 8. After gentle destemming, the must was cold soaked for 48 hours prior to fermentation for a gentle extraction of color and flavor. After fermentation, the wine was racked to a combination of French and American oak barrels, where it aged for 20 months prior to blending and bottling. An inclusion of 8% Merlot from Margarita Vineyard contributed dark berry dimension and mid-palate weight, while a dash of 2% Cabernet Franc brought aromatic lift. Additionally, contributions of 3% Petit Verdot and 8% Petite Sirah created enhanced color intensity and structural dimension in the final blend.