Merlot excels at Ancient Peaks' estate Margarita Vineyard and has been a mainstay in their small family of wines since day one. Here, ancient sea bed soils combine with a long growing season to yield a Merlot with silky dark fruit flavors and a luscious texture, resulting in what has become one of the Paso Robles region’s most notable Merlots. Ancient Peaks blends fruit from three different Merlot blocks that exhibit a range of distinct qualities, bringing added natural complexity and dimension to the finished wine. These blocks are situated along the slopes of an uplifted ancient sea bed, where the well-drained, calcium-rich soils are distinguished by decomposing oyster fossils.
Ancient Peaks' aim is to capture the signature velvety fruit character of Merlot while showcasing the fine structure inherent to Margarita Vineyard. After destemming, the lots were cold soaked for 72 hours prior to fermentation for a gentle extraction of initial color and flavor. After fermentation and light pressing, the lots were aged for 20 months in a combination of French (70%) and American (30%) oak barrels, 25 percent of which featured new oak.
This Merlot delivers rich black and red fruit aromas with intriguing hints of cedar, mocha and eucalyptus. The palate is juicy and rounded, offering a flavor tapestry of black cherry, raspberry, vanilla and brown spice. Firm tannins and luscious acidity take this Merlot to the next level, finishing with a refined heft that is rooted in its Margarita Vineyard terroir.