Fairly staining deep ruby out to minuscule clear edges. You can SMELL the tannin on this thing. Well, that and a little bit of alcohol, but mostly it is a huge overwhelming briary burn which meets the nose–under it lies tightly cloaked fruit and fresh-baked bread, incense and lemon grass. Sharpening steel, carborundum and ground wet rocks offset by a tiny teaser of sweet oak. Then you taste it.
A very tightly wound wine. Quite thin in the initial mouth. Dry, cherry fruit, but somewhat watery over the middle as the structure claw everything back out of view. Fruit is seriously lacking in this area. It never opens up. A heavy decant coaxes out some future imaginary supple. It maintains this massive concrete mass and everything else has trouble blossoming. The acid bite starts early and transforms into blistering tannin far before you swallow. The whallop of structure stays in your mouth for DECADES–‘chewy’ is a vast under-statment.
What is it about Santa Margarita that produces such tannic wines? The Ancient Peaks offerings are some of the most tannic things I have tasted. Wines I have made from Santa Margarita likewise have been shy on fruit and heavy on tannin. If someone could only make a seriously fruited–sorry, Paso: I mean real, complex fruit, not over-ripeness, something you consistently get confused–wine from this region (and not just adding Syrah), you would have the Central Coast version of Howell Mountain, or Spring Mt. I need to re-visit some of the other Santa Margarita offerings to see if this situation currently exists. At this point, this wine comes off fairly unbalanced, closed in, and reward requires heavy searching. I love the structure, but the obliteration of fruit does it no favors, and hopefully it can unwind within a decade. It is just an absolute infant. MUST revisit in a couple years.
2012 BROADSIDE Cabernet Sauvignon Margarita Paso Robles 13.8