2005 Margerum M5, Santa Barbara County
Pinot Noir has put Santa Barbara County on the map for the general public, thanks to the movie “Sideways.” But Syrah and Grenache are just as exciting, with some beautiful Rhone-inspired wines coming from the region. The 2005 Margerum M5 is, to quote the back label, “Five Grapes ~ Twelve Vineyards ~ One Wine.” The blend is 55 percent Syrah, 18 percent Grenache, 14 percent Mourvedre, 7 percent Cinsault and 2 percent Counoise, with a little bit of co-fermented grapes to make the 100 percent. Read the label for the vineyard breakdown, it gets complicated. Other than co-fermented fruit, each grape from each vineyard is fermented and barrel-aged separately. Winemaker and founder Doug Margerum then tastes each lot repeatedly to decide on the final blend.
The M5 opens with dark cherry and blackberry, with the Grenache providing the silky cherry and white pepper spice. The Syrah gives a strong backbone to the wine, with some earth and cola notes. The Mourvedre adds a smoky and meaty note, with a hint of sweet tobacco on the finish. Just a little acidity and smooth tannins round out this rich and clean red blend. Drink this wine with roast duck, grilled chicken dishes and lamb. Also have the M5 with barbecue meats and spicy Szechuan beef. The Margerum M5 is $29.
Doug Margerum runs his winery with the help of a staff of two. He will once again be at this year’s Taste of Vail pouring the M5 and several other wines.
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