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 2016 Zinfandel jumps out of the glass with bold aromas of cherry jam, wild blackberry, violets, kirsch, and toasty oak. A rich, viscous texture is packed with dense flavors of black cherry, boysenberry, cola and spicy vanilla. Lively notes of black pepper add focus to a smooth, jammy finish.
The 2016 Zinfandel comes from three separate blocks spanning three 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 layers 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 produces a wine that exhibits evenness with a pure varietal character. After a warm, steady growing season in 2016, we picked the different blocks in a range of 25.5 to 27 degrees Brix. 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%), American (57%) and Hungarian (3%) oak barrels (comprised of 25% new oak), where they aged for 16 months prior to blending and bottling.
Food Pairing Notes
The 2016 Zinfandel’s deep, supple flavors are an excellent match for fine comfort foods, including wood-fired pizzas, classic lasagna, Santa Maria-style tri-tip and smoked gouda burgers.