This Ain’t Paso, This is the Frontier!

Dark ruby, crimsoned-edged and staining.  Big rotten-grape-juice initial blows off to a high acrid note of oak and unsweetened chocolate.  Tarry and volatile, and like all wines I have had from this producer, DEMANDS decanting.  With copious air, blossoms to massive raw meat, banana-peel, and forest under-growth.  Lots of stuff going on, just don’t expect elegant, velvety fruit from this ME.  It’s not there.  In the mouth, brazenly raucous, sharp, concentrated and brilliant, but heavy-handed and shockingly tannic.  Again, I am starting to sense a pattern with this winery, and I’ve said it before and will say it again: HOW is this winery such a touristy hot-spot making wines this style?  While on one hand I suppose I could comment the Ancient-Peak-Fan-Club for being above the curve in singling out a prospectus of quality amongst the oceans of fat Paso dretch, but I suspect it is the short-sighted *bigger-is-better* mentality I have observed in most casual Paso wine enthusiasts.  Still, this thing is rife with acid and briar–vegetal, even–and goes quite against the grain of big, up-front fruity fruit, obliterating over-extraction and even RS.  The oak is taking a point off, but I’d sure like to taste some of these about 10YO.

2011 ANCIENT PEAKS Merlot Paso Robles  14-5
(Previous review of the cab)

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