2012 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel

SKU #1139792

"The Margarita Vineyard, part of the Ancient Peaks estate that was originally planted by Franciscan missionaries in 1780, is truly a site to behold. Located in the southernmost corner of Paso Robles with the Santa Lucia mountain range to the east and the Pacific Ocean fourteen miles to the west, this is one of the coolest vineyards in the region. There are five distinct soil types here: shale, sedimentary, ancient sea bead, volcanic and granitic throughout the vineyard. The ancient sea bed soils are the most impressive—massive white oyster fossils everywhere on top of the soil! The diverse soil types, combined with Ancient Peaks’ sustainable practices of cover crops, natural composting, and deficit irrigation (among others) lend depth and character to the wines that can only come from this unique site."- Jim Boyce, K&L This is a very special bottling of Zinfandel, brought to exclusively to you, our K&L customers, by our friends at Ancient Peaks Winery. Primarily Zinfandel, with a hint of Syrah, barreled down into 75% neutral and 25% new oak. 13.5%abv.

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/22/2014 | Send Email
Tucked away in the southernmost part of the Paso Robles AVA are the remarkable vineyards of Ancient Peaks Winery. With 21 different varietals planted on over 800 acres, the best wine produced is--in my humble opinion--the Zinfandel. The folks at Ancient Peaks chose the best lots of the extraordinary 2012 vintage to sell exclusively to K&L, to the good fortune of our customers. Bright and lively with red and black fruits, fresh raspberry and sour cherry. Characteristic spiciness with fine tannins. At a restrained 13.5% alcohol, this is a food-friendly Zin to enjoy with rich dishes like spare ribs or pork shoulder. A terrific value at under $20.

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2013 | Send Email
When Bryan Brick, Jim Boyce, Jeff Garneau and I trooped down the Central Coast this year in February, we had a really fantastic time at Ancient Peaks, with one of the members of the 3 families who owns Ancient Peaks- Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins. Amanada took us on a tour of the ranch, showed us how they use sustainable farming practices in the vineyards and on the ranch, and then we all stood out in the cold morning sunshine at Oyster Ridge, overlooking the Margarita vineyard, atop fossilized oysters that used to be 50 feet below sea level. We were struck by how massive their holdings are, but mainly by how committed to family and community they are as well. Ancient Peaks, like K&L, is a family run business. We had a fabulous tasting perfectly paired small bites. We began to talk about the possibility of blending a special bottling of Zinfandel for our customers. This gorgeous Zinfandel is the result of that conversation. Black currant, cassis, granite/mineral, red cherry, with medium plus acidity and medium tannin make this a bright, poised, fresh Zinfandel, light on its feet and ready for drinking. 13.5% abv, a blend of two lots of Zin with a hint of Syrah to add some lift, barreled down in 75% neutral oak and 25% new. Incredible at $20!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/31/2013 | Send Email
This is the third wine from our K&L Central Coast trip and it was absolutely worth the wait. We wanted a wine that resembeled the quality of the base Ancient Peaks zin with a little more stuffing. Thanks to being picked from a single block, being aged in 75% neutral oak and 25% new, and adding just a hint of syrah we have exactly that. This is pure, brambly zin fruit with a refreshing mineral qualit and great structure from the oak. We could not have been happier with the result!

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/8/2013 | Send Email
We here at K&L couldn’t be more excited to bring you the third wine in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful, project with wineries from around the US working with us directly to make exclusive bottling for you, our customers. Long an idea in the heads of the Domestic team here at K&L we’ve kicked around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines but the wineries behind them rather than putting the wines in our anonymous house labels like Kalinda. We hope that you think that these wines offer a tremendous value and a slightly different expression of wineries that you are already familiar with. Ancient Peaks burst on the scene a number of years ago with one of the highest rated, inexpensive, Zinfandels to ever come out of California by Wine Spectator’s standards. I was intrigued by the winery wondering if they were just a tank farm somewhere down in Paso, or a legitimate producer that we needed to watch out for. In visiting them the following year I realized that they couldn’t be more in the latter camp. Their sizable estate vineyard has to be seen to be believed, with it impeccable vineyard management, incredible diversity of soil types and singular microclimate that betray the notion of Paso Robles’s intense heat. Since that visit I have touted their wares and this year I took a crew of K&L folks there that were unaware of the quality behind these undervalued wines. As we were launching the new “Co-Branded” project with Qupé and Au Bon Climat I really wanted to have Ancient Peak involved as well and Zinfandel was the wine that I though best expressed the quality of the winery. Made from one block of Zinfandel, Block 32, this is a blend of 75% old oak, 20% new oak and the 5% to round out the wine is Syrah. I loved the bright clarity in the aromatics of the old oak Zin and while it was lighter in body it had all the Zin flavors I was looking for, briary fruit, white pepper, wild berry and a touch of baking spice. The new oak Zin component added pitch and much more spice in a confectionary way adding ripeness of fruit and more of a bass tone to complement the sassy old oak fruitiness. The Syrah worked perfectly to add mid palate weight and concentration and add a bit more “beef” in both flavor and texture, not to mention adding a touch of pretty floral complexity. I am so impressed with how this wine is already completely integrated in bottle and is ready to drink right away. The staff here couldn’t be more happy with the outcome and I hope you will be too.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/19/2013 | Send Email
This stuff is unbelievable. It's refined and elegant in the way that Storybook Zins are, but the Ancient Peaks is even more graceful, almost blurring the line between pinot noir and zinfandel. It has lovely red fruits, a soft texture, but enough acidity to balance it out. One of the best zins we have, period, and one of the most exciting California wines I've tasted in some time.

Additional Information:



- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5