Malbec excels at our estate Margarita Vineyard, where it benefits from one of the coolest growing environments in the Paso Robles region. To craft this limited-edition Malbec, we chose a selection of exemplary barrels from the 2011 vintage to offer a rare showcase for the variety. The 2011 Malbec belongs to our White Label series, which signifies small lots of the highest quality expressed through alternative varietals and unconventional blends.
The 2011 Malbec presents a mature bouquet of wild red fruit, tobacco leaf, vanilla and rose petal. The palate is briary and juicy, showing flavors of plum, cherry and cola with suggestions of cedar and herb. Polished tannins set the tone for a long, gentle finish.
The 2011 Malbec comes from Block 45, which occupies a southwest-facing hilltop in the heart of Margarita Vineyard. Here, the rocky, shale-riddled soils produce intensely flavored Malbec with a bright, racy character. The 2011 growing season was cool and remarkably long, with the Malbec grapes being hand-picked on November 9. The resulting fruit exhibited excellent maturity while avoiding overripe flavors. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, nestled into the rugged Santa Lucia Mountain range just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils, ultimately fostering natural complexity in our wines.
Our vision is to craft a Malbec that captures the varietal’s vibrant fruit character while exhibiting the balance and structure that are hallmarks of Margarita Vineyard. Toward this end, the must was cold soaked for three days prior to fermentation, allowing for enhanced extraction of fruitiness and color. Next, fermentation was pitched with 50 percent wild yeasts in order to preserve bright flavors while coaxing more complexity and dimension from the fruit. After fermentation and light pressing, the lots were racked to French oak barrels, where they aged for 22 months prior to final blending.