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 2013 vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Syrah (15%), Malbec (5%) and Petite Sirah (5%), all from meticulously farmed vineyard blocks cultivated for the Oyster Ridge program.
The 2013 Oyster Ridge bursts out of the glass with aromas of plum, blackberry, lavender, black
olive and sarsaparilla. The mouthfeel is broad and viscous, cascading across the palate with
layers of boysenberry, black cherry, vanilla cream and polished oak. Trailing notes of caramel,
graphite and spice emerge on a long, pure finish. Through the end, the wine is impeccably
balanced, with ample juiciness and intensity harnessed by elegant structure. This wine will
generously evolve in the bottle for years to come.
The proliferation of sea fossils at Oyster Ridge is the most vivid example of the complex geology
found at Margarita Vineyard. This namesake Oyster Ridge blend comes from specific spots at
Margarita Vineyard that have proven to produce remarkable fruit. These include the rows of
Cabernet Sauvignon along the uniformly exposed slopes of Block 49, and along the southwestfacing
crown of Block 50. These subsections are isolated at the start of the growing season,
and they are fastidiously tended to maximize the fruit’s potential and meet the standards of the
Oyster Ridge program. 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.
The 2013 growing season was deemed “perfect” by the winemaking team, resulting in rich
fruit flavors with fully developed tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon was partially fermented
with wild yeasts to foster enhanced textural depth. Fermentation of the Cabernet Sauvignon
took place in 10-ton fermenters to generate added thermal energy for enhanced extraction.
The other varieties were fermented in small open-top fermenters. After fermentation, each
varietal lot was aged separately for 23 months in premium French oak barrels, with a portion
of the Petite Sirah aged in American oak barrels for added nuance. The final blend was
assembled from only those barrels that exhibited exemplary complexity, structure and aging
potential—and without preconceptions regarding traditional varietal pairings. The Cabernet
Sauvignon sets the tone with broad, polished layers and classic varietal expression. The Syrah
brings a dimension of rich black fruit with meaty accents. The Petite Sirah contributes a dash
of bold intensity, while the Malbec adds juiciness to the mid-palate.
Cabernet Sauvignon 75%, Syrah 15%, Malbec 5% and Petite Sirah 5%