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 2012 vintage to offer a rare showcase for the variety. The 2012 Malbec belongs to our “White Label” series, which signifies small lots of the highest quality expressed through alternative varietals and unconventional blends.
The 2012 Malbec “White Label” presents vibrant aromas of black cherry, cranberry and cassis with suggestions of cedar and pencil shaving. A juicy palate unfolds with mouthwatering flavors of boysenberry, pomegranate and bing cherry, all finishing with lively tannins and acidity.
Malbec is a traditional blending variety from Bordeaux that has gained unlikely fame in Argentina, where it has become the country’s top wine export. Here in California, however, Malbec remains rather rare as a stand-alone wine—but that has not stopped us from producing one for the past 10 years. Our Malbec comes from Block 45 at Margarita Vineyard, where rocky, shale-riddled soils produce intensely flavored Malbec with a bright, racy character. 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 fermntation and light pressing, the lots were racked to French oak barrels, where they aged for 22 months prior to final blending.
Food Pairing Notes
The mouthwatering finish of the 2012 Malbec pairs well with beef medallions in red wine sauce, grilled lamb chops, spaghetti Bolognese with parmesan, and hard, aged cheeses.