The Somm Journal

Dec 2015-Jan 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 124

26 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2015/2016 { what's new } BORN IN THE YEAR OF THE BOAR, DOUG MARGERUM'S MIDDLE name—Barden—ties in neatly: It's English origin is literally lives near the boar's den. On another coincidental note, wild boars are a visible presence in the vineyards throughout the Sta. Rita Hills growing region of Santa Barbara County. But, until now, Margerum's name has not been associated with this cool- climate growing region, nor has it been mentioned in the same sentence with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is his Rhône varietals and Sauvignon Blanc from the Santa Barbara County that put him on the map; but now living within minutes of Burgundy-variety country, where the Sta. Rita Hills AVA has earned a reputation for world-class Chard and Pinot, Margerum, after 15 years of producing wine, finally jumped in. Hired by La Encantada Vineyard,one of the westernmost and hence coolest vineyards in the AVA, to produce wine from this famous property as a consultant, Margerum's move to create his own label was natural. The results bear out the knowledge he gained in his three decades of working in the wine business. The wild boar illustration graces his new Barden label, which spans four wines. We met with Doug in person recently to taste through the portfolio. Santa Barbara County vintner Doug Margerum. Beg Your Barden YOU'LL WANT TO TASTE DOUG MARGERUM'S NEW LABEL—SUPERB EXPRESSIONS OF STA. RITA HILLS by Meridith May Barden 2014 Fonte, Sta. Rita Hills ($36) Blending three varieties from three vineyards— two Chardonnays (Hilliard Bruce 32% and La Rinconada 7%), Pinot Blanc (La Encantada 29%) and Pinot Gris (La Encantada 32%)— creates a seamless outpouring of flavor and texture. Fonte, after all, means "source" or "fountain" in Italian. The minerality is as deli - cate as the pear and tropical notes are rich and vibrant. The wine is barrel-fermented, inoculated for malolactic fermentation and bâtonage'd for three months. Barden 2014 Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills ($48) Creamy and buttery may sound typi - cal for this variety, but this wine, aged ten months sur lie in French oak offers up some pineapple sweetness with a verve that gives it a modern edge. Barden 2013 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills ($82) Here we go! This is a killer wine from Margerum—a Pinot picked for flavor, not over - ripe in any way. The wine goes through a six- to ten-day cold soak, wild yeast fermentation and only free-run juice is used, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Aspects of chocolate, plum, cherry, baking spice, rhubarb, olive—there's nothing shy or timid here—with supple tannins that create a most appealing mouthfeel. Barden 2012 Syrah, Santa Barbara County ($60) "It's all about restraint," Doug Margerum commented about his Syrah. Dark, peppered and sweetened with bittersweet chocolate and black fruit, the cool-climate red is obviously in his wheelhouse. Although not all grown in the Sta. Rita Hills, most of the fruit is procured from the region's well-loved John Sebastiano Vineyard right on the boarder of Sta. Rita Hills. This wine has body and strong shoulders, it's a wine you can lean on. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARGERUM WINES

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Somm Journal - Dec 2015-Jan 2016