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Our limited-edition White Label wines represent small lots of the highest quality expressed through unconventional blends and alternative varietals. The crown jewel of our White Label Collection is the Oyster Ridge red blend, which is crafted to exemplify our finest winemaking efforts. Oyster Ridge is available at select wine shops and restaurants, and our other White Label wines are sold at our tasting room.
Each year, we craft the limited-edition Oyster Ridge cuvée to exemplify our finest winemaking efforts. The name Oyster Ridge honors an outcropping that always astonishes visitors to our estate Margarita Vineyard. Here, large white oyster fossils are literally spilling out of the ground, fostering the type of calcium-rich soil that is coveted by winemakers worldwide. The 2011 vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Merlot (44%), Malbec (4%) and Petite Sirah (4%), all from meticulously farmed vineyard blocks cultivated for the Oyster Ridge program.
Margarita Vineyard is the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles AVA. The vineyard is tucked along the Santa Lucia mountain range on the top of the Cuesta Grade just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in one of the Paso Robles region’s coolest growing environments. The proliferation of sea fossils at Oyster Ridge is the most vivid example of the complex geology found at Margarita Vineyard, which spans a rare array of five soil types that bring natural dimension to our wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec all come from specific spots at Margarita Vineyard that have proven to produce superior fruit, such as the rows of Cabernet Sauvignon atop a hill in Block 49 and a section of Merlot along a rise in Block 7. These subsections are isolated at the start of the growing season, and they are fastidiously farmed to maximize the fruit’s potential and meet the standards of the Oyster Ridge program.
After hand harvesting, the individual varietal lots were fermented in small open-top fermenters, with manual punchdowns employed three times daily for balanced extraction. Approximately 40 percent of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot was fermented with wild yeasts to foster enhanced textural depth. After fermentation, each varietal lot was aged separately for 22 months in premium French oak barrels, with one barrel each of the Petite Sirah and Merlot aged in two American oak barrels for added aromatic complexity. The final blend was assembled from only those barrels that exhibited exemplary complexity, structure and aging potential.
The 2011 Oyster Ridge offers generous aromas of plum, blackberry and violets with a note of toasty oak. Juicy flavors of black cherry and blueberry enfold a luscious, mouthfilling texture with trailing accents of framboise, eucalyptus, vanilla and spice. A lively, structured finish promises excellent longevity in the bottle.