Staff Selections • Bill McCleary
Fall Pick 2022
2020 Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon
(Paso Robles, CA)
A few years back I visited Ancient Peaks Winery east of San Luis Obispo in central California. Beautiful rolling hills and vast vineyards rest against the Santa Lucia Mountains. I toured the Cabernet vines and was amazed at the seabed soils with good sized shells poking out of the ground. Volcanic soil was rich and deep. Ancient Peaks makes many wines, but their signature is the Cabernet. With great soil available, I also noticed the warm sunny days gave way to really cool nights. The Pacific Ocean is only 14 miles away; this is really a fine-tuned area for the Cabernet grape. These folks make a tasty, delicious red wine. I was delighted to find Cabernet aromas of dark berry fruit like blackberry and plum with layers of flavor that captured rich and bold spice notes of cured tobacco, dried forest leaves, and field herbs of thyme and oregano. You will be charmed by the soft texture yet firmness of this excellent California Cabernet. There’s good acidity here and tannin that gives structure that only adds to the finishing palate. This is a red for our autumn season when a good grilled steak is in order.