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Merlot, 2016. Suspicion

Merlot, 2016. Suspicion

Item #: C0420R1DC
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Merlot
Vineyard/Appellation: Paso Robles, California
Color: Very Deep Purple
Nose: Blueberry, Lilac
Palate: Full, Jack Fruit, Spice
Finish: Continuing Swirl
Rating: 96
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2025/Red Meat, Game/13.4% Alcohol by Volume

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Suspicion is crafted by Ancient Peaks Winery and Vineyard in Paso Robles, a showplace destination for private parties, weddings, and great wines. Its pride of ownership is the Santa Margarita Ranch, a distinctive vineyard settled by the missionaries in the late 1700s.

:The vineyard is the only vineyard in the Santa Margarita Ranch area. Beginning in 1999 the vineyard was planted by none other than Robert Mondavi. He saw the great potential.

Today three prominent families control the ranch and winery. Doug Fillipponi is COO, he is also president of Fillipponi-Thompson Drilling. Rob Rossi, a Paso native who introduced the Robert Mondavi Winery to Santa Margarita's stunning grapes. And Karl Wittstrom, a longtime Paso rancher and grape grower. One look at this stunning property, and you know these guys know what they're doing.

Merlot is a relative newcomer to Paso Robles, and despite what some wineries think further north, it has flourished here like few others. Santa Margarita is further west than most, so it relies on the cool ocean breezes to improve the temperature, a condition in which Merlot thrives. It is mostly used as a blending grape with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. But, here it shines brightly on its offering supple blueberry and cranberry flavors to enhance beef ribs off the grill or smoked spare ribs with jalapeno jelly.