Amanda at Ancient Peaks Photo: Tom Wilmer

Ancient Peaks is a must stop for exceptional zinfandel. Their grapes (planted by the Robert Mondavi family) are estate grown with a diversity of soils, including volcanic and petrified oyster beds. When Wine Spectator received samples of Ancient Peak’s 2006 Zinfandel (their second vintage), the magazine named it the greatest value of 2008 and bestowed 93 points. Today, their zins remain as iconic, value-priced core wines. I recently conducted a tasting at the NPR affiliate studios in San Luis Obispo and Ancient Peaks’ 2009 Zinfandel ($17) was voted best of five comparable Central Coast zins. Known for its raspberry, blueberry and hints of white pepper, it’s a wine that deserves to be paired with a meal or fine cheese to fully appreciate its potential expression.

Ancient Peaks Winery  222720 El Camino Real   Santa Margarita, CA 93453

Listen to interview with Amanda at Ancient Peaks: