In the Central Coast of California, there is one winery marching to the beat of their own drummer. Breaking the number one rule of keep winery visitors near the cash register and instead opting to open up their immaculate Santa Margherita Ranch to visitors for ziplining through the vineyards, wildlife tours, family picnics, lavish dinners, you name it.
But Ancient Peaks isn’t worried about the potential distractions, especially not with their secret weapon at the helm. A young, rising star winemaker who has put all of the Central Coast if not California on notice.
Armed with one of the brightest rising stars in winemaking, Ancient Peaks has been setting the pace for what has become the budding wine region in Paso Robles. Winemaker Amanda Wittsrom-Higgins was last year’s cover for Wine Enthusiast’s annual list of “40 Under 40 of America’s Top Tastemakers” and was included as one of “the trailblazers who are redefining the industry as we know it.”
The quiet revolution she’s been leading is beginning to draw attention. The Wine Advocate recently called Amanda’s wines, “keenly priced, high-quality wines that deserve to be better known.” That might be true but it too many catch on, there’s no way we’ll continue to be able to grab these massively intense wines for these prices.
91 Points, Tasting Panel
This Sauvignon Blanc offers satisfyingly deep, persistent, keenly defined flavors and refreshingly bright acidity. The aromas are lifted and true to the variety without being overly pungent, and the finish effectively integrates melon and citrus notes.
90 Points, Wine Spectator
This impressive version offers fresh lemon-lime flavors that are bright and juicy, with a touch of crunchy sea salt. Notes of Honeycrisp apple show aromatic highlights of lemon verbena, lemongrass and fresh ginger on the finish.
90 Points, Wine & Spirits
Sharp and bright, this has a scent of cut grass and pineapple candy, its flavors more given to lemon and apple. It’s on the green side, for a primavera pasta with ramps.
94 Points, Tasting Panel
A spectacular vintage for this blend of 57% Syrah, 33% Petit Verdot, and 10% Malbec. While it’s bold and concentrated, it has a satin mouthfeel, filled with jammy notes of blackberry and pomegranate. Savory notes of sweet tobacco, Luxardo cherry, and floral tones lift the flavor profile in a crescendo of plush pleasure.
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