Essentially Oyster Bay Merlot is about elegance and intensity of fruit. Glorious flavors of
juicy black plum, sweet
berry fruits and spice, with
fine grained tannins
and a lingering
Oyster Bay Winery
The philosophy of Oyster Bay Marlborough is to produce fine, distinctively regional wines that are elegant and assertive with glorious fruit flavours - wines that drink well within a year or two of vintage, yet possess the balance of structure to reward cellaring.
The Oyster Bay label is owned by Delegat's Wine Estate, one of New Zealand's largest family owned and managed wine producers.
The first Oyster Bay vines were planted in 1988 and the label takes its name from the local Oyster Bay, situated in the picturesque headlands of the Marlborough Sounds, on the northern tip of New Zealand's beautiful South Island.
The natural siting advantages of the Oyster Bay vineyards are complemented by our intensive and careful viticultural practices including vine spacing, trellis configuration, canopy management and irrigation and vine monitoring systems.
The glorious result is consistently high quality grapes which, together with sensitive skilled winemaking, express the unique character of Marlborough.
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Hawkes Bay is the second largest wine region, following Marlborough. The area is known for its shmorgasborg of different microclimates and soils. Gimblett Gravels, while sounding like a character out of Lord of the Rings, is a soil and a district in the area. Gimblett Gravels are a gravelly mix that absorb and retain heat, much like the soils of Graves in Bordeaux or Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone.
Chardonnay is the most planted grape variety here, and makes some excellent, usually un-oaked, wines. Sauvignon Blanc from the region are some is the best from the North Island. In addition, many winemakers are throwing their hat in the Bordeaux Blend ring, taking advantage of long sunshine hours and Gimblett Gravel soils by growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Syrah is also planted around the area and the reds are frequently blends. A few winemakers are making Pinot Noir from the cooler parts of Hawkes Bay.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.