Time flies when you’re breaking the rules!
That’s the sentiment here at Ancient Peaks surrounding our Renegade red blend, as the current 2018 vintage marks the 10th release since the inaugural 2009 vintage.
True to its name, Renegade is a wine that pushes the envelope and resists conformity. It all began when we decided to make a Syrah-dominant blend without any preconceptions beyond making a unique and compelling wine. We loved how Syrah performed at our estate Margarita Vineyard, and we saw it as the perfect catalyst to do something different.
As Founding Winemaker Mike Sinor recalls, “We said to ourselves, ‘Let’s take the gloves off, get creative and go renegade on this’—and that’s what we did. We tried a bunch of things—we even tried adding a little Riesling! But in our blind tastings, we kept coming back to this core of rich Syrah fruit accentuated by Petit Verdot and Malbec.”
That magic of Syrah with Petit Verdot and Malbec has stood the test of time, although other varieties such as Zinfandel and Petite Sirah have made appearances as well.
“This wine is about not being beholden to history,” Mike says. “Here in Paso Robles and California, we don’t have to follow Old World traditions and rules, and we take full advantage of that freedom. And even here at the winery, we want to be open-minded every year in how we approach this wine. Just because we did it one way last year doesn’t mean we’ll do it that same way this year.”
That said, there is a certain consistency to Renegade from one vintage to the next. The common thread from year to year is a wine that combines the rich, bold flavors of Syrah with the structure and finesse provided by classic Bordeaux varieties.
As Mike says, “This is a wine that has one foot in the Rhône, and the other in Bordeaux, and it’s a combination that has proven to be something people really love.”