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Ancient Peaks
 
February 26, 2016 | Wines | Ancient Peaks

The Outlaw Blend

We are pleased to be rolling into the 2013 vintage of Renegade, a  blend  of  Syrah,  Malbec and  Petit Verdot  from our estate  Margarita Vineyard.

As Director of Winemaking Mike Sinor puts it, "Renegade is our outlaw blend. It revolves around Syrah for its lusciousness and up‐front fruit. But it also relies on Malbec for mid‐palate juiciness and Petit Verdot for structure. So it has a lot of power and up‐front fruit, but it finishes with a sense of focus and balance."

Now, in certain winemaking regions in France, there are laws against blending Rhone grapes like Syrah with Bordeaux varieties such as Petit Verdot and Malbec. So, in other words, Renegade breaks French law for the greater good of creating a seamless blend that speaks to both Paso Robles and Margarita Vineyard.

A majority of the Syrah for the 2013 Renegade comes from Block 47 along slopes of ancient sea bed soils, where the fruit achieves dark fruit flavors with meaty richness. The remainder comes from nearby Block 43, which offers a more restrained fruit profile with notes of spice and mineral. The Malbec hails from Block 45, a southwest-facing hillside with shallow shale soils that produce sparse, intensely flavored clusters. The Petit Verdot comes from Block 44, where a sloping ribbon of sandstone and rocky shale yields firm texture with vivid varietal character.

"I think it’s the structure that sets the wine apart," says Winemaker Stewart Cameron. "It rings all of the bells of a yummy Rhone‐style blend, but it’s that Bordeaux-like firmness on the back end that brings it all together in a unique way."

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