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Our estate Margarita Vineyard has become renowned for producing one of the Paso Robles region’s most acclaimed Zinfandels. Here, the Zinfandel grape achieves a rare balance of robust flavors and elegant structure. Zinfandel has been a cornerstone varietal of Paso Robles for more than 100 years, and we are proud to feature it in our small family of wines.
The 2013 Zinfandel hails from separate blocks rooted in three different soil types at our estate Margarita Vineyard. Zinfandel is known for pushing fruit of variable ripeness from vine to vine. For this reason, we are aggressive in thinning clusters to produce lower yields with intensity and uniformity. In 2013, these efforts—combined with exquisite growing conditions through the harvest season—produced a Zinfandel with richness, complexity and finesse. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, nestled into the rugged Santa Lucia Mountain range just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils, ultimately fostering natural complexity in our wines.
Our goal is to produce a Zinfandel that exhibits evenness with a pure varietal character that is rooted in the growing conditions at Margarita Vineyard. Toward this end, we picked the different blocks in a range of 24 to 26 Brix, walking the line between ripeness and restraint. Prior to fermentation, the lots were cold soaked for 48 hours for a soft extraction of flavor and color. Pumpovers were employed three times per day in the earlier stages of fermentation for balanced extraction, then dialed back to ensure richness without astringency. After light pressing, the individual lots were racked to a combination of French (40%) and American (60%) oak barrels (comprised of 25% new oak), where they aged for 19 months prior to blending and bottling.
The 2013 Zinfandel presents nuanced aromas of raspberry, blueberry, tobacco and white pepper. The palate is deep and chewy, showing brambly flavors of wild blackberry jam and black cherry with notes of vanilla, caramel and cola. Hints of spice emerge on a finely structured finish.
The rich, chewy texture of the 2013 Zinfandel is a perfect match for comfort foods such as wood-fired pizza, smoked chicken, classic lasagna and grilled tri-tip with Santa Maria seasoning.