2014 Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Merlot

SKU #1268954 Connoisseurs Guide

 *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.  (11/2016)

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)  (8/2016)


 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)  (9/2016)

K&L Notes

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)

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Price: $14.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

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.


- 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.
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 (%): 14.5