Back in Black

Paso Robles has some fairly decent patches of PV growing throughout the region, but it gets snapped up fairly quickly by blenders of Meritage so finding a solo-bottling can be kinda fun. And I think Paso cab probably benefits the most compared to other regions, as a lot of the cab needs a little stiff rod inserted to firm things up. Ancient Peaks has all their own estate vineyards–and a bit off the beaten path of typical Paso–and they grow all 5 BDX varieties (maybe even all 6?) and frequently bottle them in separate lots. From tasting them many times, they are all structured somewhat differently than their big common blends–and structured in a direction I like. I’ve written many times over the years the impressive firmness the single-variety bottles show from this producer, and–having dangled my nose and tongue in this one during the preamble–this proves no different.

Dark, absolutely opaque black light-obliterating purple-blue with a microscopic ruby edge. Big chocolaty fruit nose, bright and fresh while not apologizing for concentration in the least. It’s a thick, viscous bouquet, black chewy fruit, black licorice, black cherry, black pepper, black walnut, blackberry briar and a touch of oak basically unable to wipe away the grin of fruit-forwardness. Hell, the oak might even be black. Fun, rich and spicy, edged with a lily floral and hay-field savory, it is a big, thick bruiser but confident in its heft.

Expecting pretty much the same thing on the palate, I am not disappointed. The pure solid weight hits hard, but it is dancingly bright and fruity. The burr of acid starts early, easily mingling with the peppery overtones and morphing to ratcheting tannin before you even get to the middle. Maintaining a solid course through the whole thing is the fresh fruit, sweet and delectable in its prepubescent joviality and innocence. The bitter strain of structure is anything BUT innocent, and presents an unscaleable WALL

This wine reminds me of Petite Sirahs we used to drink in the 80’s and 90’s. Wines NO ONE could wrap their faces around for AT LEAST a decade in bottle. If you can get ahold of some of this, buy a case and just completely LOSE it somewhere in the cellar. A stupidly-good 20-year wine.

2017 ANCIENT PEAKS Petit Verdot Santa Margarita Ranch Paso Robles 14.9

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