Cabernet Sauvignon has always been at the heart of the Ancient Peaks experience. Since day one, our estate Cabernet has been our flagship wine, while our Cabernet-driven Oyster Ridge red blend has been our crown jewel.
We are now excited to share that, starting with the 2017 vintage, we have created a new showpiece reflecting our passion for Cabernet: the Cabernet Sauvignon Pearl Collection.
“We feel that Margarita Vineyard and the Santa Margarita Ranch AVA can produce Cabernet Sauvignon that stands shoulder to shoulder with the best from Paso Robles and beyond,” says Winemaker Stewart Cameron. “This wine represents our intensifying commitment to Cabernet and revealing what is possible from our estate vineyard.”
Indeed, Margarita Vineyard boasts a proven track record for growing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Here, uniquely complex soils and a marine-moderated climate combine to deliver fruit with ripeness, structure and dimension. 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 Santa Margarita Ranch AVA.
The Inaugural Vintage
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Pearl Collection is composed of fruit from the hillsides of Block 49, which produces small, intensely flavored berries with an elegant red-blue fruit character; from the upper portion of Block 50, which yields a powerful black-blue fruit spectrum; and from Block 15, where ancient sea bed soils and cooler conditions yield fruit with earthy structure and firm tannins. Each of these sites was isolated at the start of the growing season and given fastidious viticultural attention to produce a Cabernet Sauvignon of extraordinary natural character.
“We drilled down as far as you can go from a viticultural perspective,” Stewart says. “From moment one, we targeted the best sites, and gave them extraordinary attention throughout the growing season.”
A long growing season in 2017 allowed for excellent hang time and phenolic development. Special care was taken in the targeted vineyard blocks to maximize canopy airflow and limit yields for enhanced fruit intensity.
Crafted with Intention
Upon harvesting, the fruit was gently destemmed, cold soaked for three days and fermented in small 10-ton tanks. The individual lots of free-run juice were aged in 100-percent new French oak barrels by Taransaud, Tonnellerie Ô and Sylvain. Each of these barrels featured naturally tight-grained wood for seamless oak integration, as well as medium to medium-plus toasting for judicious complexity. A small lot of Petit Verdot from Margarita Vineyard was incorporated into the final blend for added color and aromatic dimension.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Pearl Collection is loaded with exceptional varietal typicity from start to finish. A rich, roiling bouquet bursts from the glass with blue and black fruit aromas framed by notes of black olive, toasty vanilla and pencil shavings. A fat, massive texture uncoils with densely layered flavors of blueberry, black currant, blackberry pie, cranberry, mint leaf, toasted oak and mocha spice. Fresh mineral notes bring focus to the native fruit intensity, while luscious acidity and sleek tannins promise longevity in the bottle for many years to come.
We invite you to experience this wine as the ultimate expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from our estate Margarita Vineyard—and as a showcase for Paso Robles as a world-class region for this preeminent Bordeaux variety.