2015 Gist Ranch Estate Apex
The 2015 Apex is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a splash of Malbec spending twenty-one months in French oak. The wine is expressive with aromas of black cherries, chocolate, black licorice, tobacco, and lavender. Only 250 cases were made of this wine.
The vineyard was densely planted in the year 2000 at elevations reaching 2300 feet above sea level, 17 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The heavily fractured, Vaqueros Sandstone soils and unique mountain micro-climate produce singular, deeply concentrated wines that demonstrate the power and elegance of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. The Gist Vineyard is farmed to organic principles with an emphasis on “Living Soils” and bio-diversity.
The 2015 vintage was the lowest-yielding vintage in our thirty-five-year history. The ongoing drought was only tangentially responsible for the loss of crop; as the warm, dry winter encouraged a record-setting February bud-break. March and early April were warm and dry, and things seemed to be headed in a positive direction. In mid-April, a persistent trough parked off the coast of Northern California which gave us five weeks of cold, wet, and windy weather that killed off the blooming flowers in the vineyard. This left us with yields under 0.25 tons per acre in many vineyards. The good news is that the quality is extremely high. The wines are immensely concentrated with tremendous intensity and life.
Santa Cruz Mountains
The 2015 Apex Gist ranch Estate is laced with expressive scents of grilled herb, black olive, menthol, licorice, chocolate, wild cherry and lavender. A few years in bottle will help the 2015 shed some of its considerable baby fat. Even so, the 2015 is impressive in the early going. This is an especially exuberant Santa Cruz Mountains red. The Apex is the only red off the ranch in 2015, as poor weather during the spring decimated yields. - 92 points. Antonio Galloni, Vinous