Our estate Margarita Vineyard has become renowned for producing one of Paso Robles’ most acclaimed Zinfandels. Here, amid one of the region’s coolest growing environments, the Zinfandel grape achieves a rare balance of robust flavors and elegant structure. Zinfandel has been a cornerstone variety of Paso Robles for more than 100 years, and we are proud to feature it in our small family of wines.
The 2014 Zinfandel opens exuberantly with aromas of raspberry, boysenberry, olallieberry
pie and high-toned oak. The palate is juicy and jammy with luscious flavors of blackberry,
black cherry and vanilla cream. A dash of black pepper lingers on a clean, composed finish
that goes against the grain of more unrestrained Zinfandels.
The 2014 Zinfandel comes from three separate blocks and soil types, with each
contributing to a larger sense of character and complexity in the finished wine. Block 49
sets the tone with textural heft and dark berry flavors, while Block 32 contributes a layer
of red fruit and spice. Block 48 splits the difference between red and black fruits with its
own spicy nuances. 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.
At Margarita Vineyard, the Zinfandel grape naturally veers more toward elegance than
bombast, and we accordingly pursue a wine that exhibits evenness with a pure varietal
character. 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 18 months prior to blending and
bottling. A small lot of Syrah from Margarita Vineyard was incorporated into the final
blend for enhanced aromatics and textural depth.
Food Pairing Notes
The 2014 Zinfandel’s full yet polished character is not only a great fit for comfort foods
such as wood-fired pizza, lasagna and grilled chicken, but also a serious contender for
porterhouse steak and rack of lamb.
Zinfandel 90%, Syrah 10%