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91pts Wine Enthusiast
Peake Ranch, Sta. Rita Hills
This wine completes for me a viticultural trifecta, making the spectacular Peake Vineyard the first and only vineyard (other than my own) from which I have produced single vineyard wines from three different varieties; in this case Chardonnay (Dream Field), Pinot Noir (Opposites Attract) and now Grenache (Born Ready). It is especially significant in this case that this has been done with Grenache, because, going forward, the first requirement for me to bottle any single vineyard Grenache is that it must have enough concentration, earth and power to stand up to the Opportunity Knocks Grenache that I produce from the Spanish Springs Vineyard up in San Luis Obispo County. I am very proud to announce that this wine does indeed have that power.
Part of the equation at Peake is its prime location, on the eastern end of Santa Rosa Road in the warmer end of the Sta. Rita Hills. The other parts of the equation are Peake’s very open minded owner, John Wagner, and the guy that John hired to farm the vineyard, Michael Anderson. While John is open minded, he does have a few extreme prejudices; quality, quality and quality. John does not just talk the talk; he lives it, which is why he hired the best farmer on the planet. There are three letters that officially follow Michael Anderson’s name. Those would be PhD, as in Doctor of Philosophy; in this case, viticulture. Whenever I go over to Peake to look at the vines, I don’t have to ask for certain things to be done, or for the timing on anything to change. By the time I get there, everything is always perfectly executed. Everything makes sense. When I meet with Mike Anderson, it’s always a perfect