2014 Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Merlot
*One Star & Good Value* Clean and nicely composed with an attractive nose of juicy red cherries backed up by a trim bit of creamy oak, this well-crafted offering earns the nod for its fine sense of balance, its steady, well-focused fruit and its youthfully tight, slightly claret-like construction. It shows more winemaking polish and depth than its modest price might lead one to expect, and it has all of the right pieces in place to improve for a good half-decade or more. It is, in short, a lot of wine for the money, and it ranks high on our list of exceptional values.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another well-made, value priced wine is the 2014 Merlot. Aged 18 months in mostly French oak (25% new), it gives up lots of plums, black currants, spice and toasted bread in a charming, supple, deliciously drinkable package. It too should drink nicely for 4-5 years. (JD)
Opaque ruby. Smoke-tinged dark berries and mocha on the nose, lifted by a minty nuance. Smooth and a touch warm on the palate, offering gently sweet black currant and cherry flavors and a touch of pepperiness. Finishes smooth and broad, with round tannins shaping the plush fruit. (JR)
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 between the the Santa Lucia mountain range and fourteen miles from the ocean, this is one of the coolest vineyards in the region. There are five distinct soil types here; shale, sedimentary, ancient sea bed, volcanic, and granitic soils are all found on different blocks of 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. These are true terroir wines, and remain some of the Central Coast's best kept secrets for value. (Jim Boyce, K&L Staff Member)