When you hear the term “blend,” you typically think of a wine composed of different grape varieties. But at Ancient Peaks, many of our varietal wines like Cabernet Sauvignon are a blend in themselves—composed of different clones grown in multiple blocks on varying soil types.
Case in point: our new release 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, which features a blend of Cabernet fruit from six distinct blocks at our estate Margarita Vineyard.
“We get a variety of expressions of Cabernet at Margarita Vineyard, which gives us more options for creating a dynamic and complex wine,” says Winemaker Stewart Cameron.
The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of the following building blocks:
Block 11 (Clone 15) is planted along a northeast-facing slope planted to ancient sea bed soils. “This block gets less afternoon sun due to its northeasterly aspect, which results in fruit with more savory characteristics,” Stewart says.
Blocks 13, 14 and 15 (planted to clones 11, 15 and 7 respectively) are also planted to highly calcareous sea bed soils as well as rocky alluvium, but along a southwesterly slope that sees more sun exposure. This results in grapes that have darker blue fruit characteristics.
Further north at Margarita Vineyard you will find blocks 49 (clones 7 and 8) and 50 (clones 8 and 337). These blocks unfold along ancient sea bed and shale soils. Block 49 tends to give off red fruit tones, while Block 50 yields blue-black flavors.
The Final Blend
Each of these lots was aged separately for 16 months in French and American oak barrels. It was only after this that Stewart and Founding Winemaker Mike Sinor performed numerous trials to achieve their ultimate blend from among these varied sources.
“Thanks to our diverse terroir, we can paint with different colors to create a multidimensional Cabernet,” Stewart says. “It puts our blending skills to the test and results in a wine that is more than the sum of its parts.”