23 Months in French (95%) and American (5%) oak barrels 85% new oak
The 2017 Oyster Ridge exemplifies Paso Robles’ growing renown as an elite region for Cabernet Sauvignon. The aroma profile presents a captivating intermingling of red fruits, blueberry and black currant with accents of mint, forest floor and toasted oak. An extravagantly deep palate cascades with luxurious layers of blackberry, boysenberry, black olive, chocolate, tobacco and cedar, all underpinned by hints of eucalyptus and baking spice. A plush, seamless texture exhibits a sleek sense of minerality, while firm, chewy tannins add a powerful touch to a seemingly endless finish.
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. The 2017 vintage is driven by Cabernet Sauvignon from the hilltop of Block 49, which produces small, intensely flavored berries with an elegant red-blue fruit character; and from the upper portion of Block 50, which yields a powerful black-blue fruit spectrum. Equally specific selection was applied to the other varieties that round out this classic Bordeaux-style blend. All vineyard subsections designated for Oyster Ridge 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.
A long growing season in 2017 allowed for excellent hang time and phenolic development, with the last of the fruit being picked on November 14. Ninety-one percent of the wine was fermented in 10-ton fermenters to generate added thermal energy for enhanced extraction. After fermentation, each varietal lot was aged separately for 23 months in premium French oak barrels. The Malbec lot was aged in French-American hybrid oak barrels for added dimension and notes of spice. The final blend was assembled from only those barrels that exhibited exemplary complexity, structure and aging potential. Cabernet Sauvignon is predominant with broad, polished layers and classic varietal expression. The Petit Verdot contributes color, structure and aromatic nuances of cedar and pencil shavings. Malbec adds undertones of juicy red fruit, while the Cabernet Franc enlivens the aromatic profile with suggestions of violets and savory spice. A touch of Merlot adds lift and silkiness to the palate.