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Margerum Wine Company

Margerum Wine Company After twenty years in the wine business it had always been a dream of mine to have a small production winery where I did most of the work myself. I have a 240 square foot temperature controlled space behind the Brander Vineyards facility in Los Olivos that is certainly the smallest bonded winery in the county. The term being bantered around in France for what I am doing is a production called "garagiste" - though my space is smaller than a garage. The "garagiste" philosophy, for me, is that I am part of a growing group of vintners looking to return wine making to its previous form of production – hand-crafted and personal. Working with connotations of nature, stressing individuality, and making a production on a human scale. I strive to make wines that I personally enjoy and I my hope is others will enjoy them as well. The approach to this is the antithesis of mass production. I choose to make wines that are distinctive, have a place and personality to them, and are made to my own standards.


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813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA, US, 93101 Email:
Phone: 805-845-8435 Web:
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  Alisos Vineyard Pinot Gris
Crazy stuff this is Yoda say would. It is the meanest, tightest, crispest, leanest, and estestiest wine I have ever made. I know I often say I have never seen a wine with too kmuch kacid but I might have proven myself wrong. Crazy numbers pH and TA wise but overall a very satisfying wine. In 2059 people will be declaring that I was (the now dead Doug Margerum) a genius wine maker. Buy it for your children and if you must drink it now have it with decadently rich seafood or as a Lipitor substitute.
  Alondra de los Prados Vineyard Syrah
This is a very special vineyard and it is clearly my top Syrah in 2004. Vintage 2004 had a big heat wave which mostly affected early ripening varietals like Pinot Noir. Tom Krig the hands on vineyard owner of Alondra de los Prados always farms this one acre parcel to maximize flavors and this usually results in a rather small crop. We got caught and right at the end of the heat wave, not knowing if it was going to continue, we decided to pick. We did two picks. The first go through was to pick the perfect perky clusters – we got a little over a ton. The second pick were the grapes that were a little saggy and dehydrated we got a little over a ton. I kept the two picks separate and we lovingly named the first pick the Brittney Spears cuvee and the other the Margaret Thatcher cuvee. To a person, when I tasted visitors to the winery on the two cuvees, the Thatcher cuvee was preferred – intense sweet, ripe, and hedonistic. Of course I blended the Thatcher cuvee into the M5 but not before bottling a case of it. Hey, I’m a hedonist too. In fact the Brittney Spears cuvee has the body for the long haul and is by far the better wine but it needs the years I hope you’ll give it to mature. Additionally, this vineyard is co-planted to Viognier which I co-ferment with the Syrah. Of course, there is none of it available.
  Black Oak Vineyard Syrah
The wonderful people who own this vineyard, Dan and Meagan Reeves, approached me in 2003 to see if I wanted to work with their fruit grown at this steep well maintained vineyard planted deep in the valley of Alisos Canyon north of the road. I take two clones from this vineyard (877 & 99) and ferment them separately choosing ten barrels to be bottled as a vineyard designate. I share this vineyard with Bob Lindquist and Kris Curran and we are lucky to be the recipients of this world-class fruit. The wine is very dark, dense, and tight. I do not make wines that are excessively ripe and this is the poster child for my style of elegant, age-worthy, food agreeable, and in perspective balanced wine.
  Margerum Ranch Vineyard Pinot Gris
We succeeded to get about two tons per acre from our little vineyard in the Cascade Mountains. The soil (or lack of soil) these vines grow on is parse as our valley is composed entirely of cold lava AKA basalt. I have a representative basalt rock from the property at the winery that I show visitors just to make the point clear. The grapes are beautiful; small bunches, small berries but they are so nutrient deficient (even though I add nutrients to the must) that the wine takes months, not days, to ferment. The fermative CO2 preserves the fruit and my cold room retains the CO2 in the wine so I can use very little SO2. It is pleasantly fruity and refreshing to drink. I love the apple, pear, mixed with the very best aspects of Grüner Veltliner with its distinctive, pungent aromatics; the wine has an exotic array of fruit, herb and spice flavors, attractive mineral undertones, and good acidity. I have been given glasses of this wine blind (I hate the “stump the wine maker” game) and I have more than once guessed it to be a Grüner rather than my own Pinot Gris.
  PNO Pinot Noir
2005 might be the best year for Santa Barbara Pinot Noir ever. Jim Clendenen, Santa Barbara’s Pinot pioneer, has declared it to be the best vintage he has ever seen. Of the various lots from which the blend is going to be made there is no wine I wouldn’t have on its own. As I write this in March I must tell you that I will not do the final blend until June or later. If you have enjoyed previous MWC Pinot Noirs I can assure you that I have better barrels than ever before and it will be the best one yet. I have procured over 40 barrels, five times as much as last year because the quality is so good. The final blend will be mostly from A block at Le Bon Climat vineyard (clones 667 and 115) and even in January the wine was rich and supple. I have never tasted such flavored wines so young. As the demand for Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir continues unabated we are feeling rather keen to be able to offer one of the best Pinots produced for a price almost unseen in the market.
  Purisima Mountain Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
This turned out rather good. I really get to pick and choose what grapes I take from this vineyard by the good grace of the Beckmen’s. This year Louis and I walked the vineyard many times taking field samples and narrowed our section and clone based on the balance (pH and sugar) and propensity of flavors. Great acidity balanced with pure crystal clear fruit that is not grassy green nor tropical. It is like biting into a cold grape. Picked at 22.5 brix with a tremendous acidity, low pH and loads of real Sauvignon Blanc fruit. I always keep this back a bit because it needs a little bottle age to reveal itself. My ode to Dageneau.
This is my second Riesling made from the very cold, east of Los Alamos, and near the ocean Carriaga vineyard. It is a lightly sweet German style wine with a touch of botrytis. Foot crushed and skin contact for a half a day to get the flavors fermented long and cold and stopped when it tasted right. Put into a two year old Talley Chardonnay barrel and bottled young and fresh. It’s very yummy. It’s a puppy and Reeses Peanut Butter Cup (the individually wrapped ones, because they have better balance) wine because if you don’t like this you just don’t like wine. I sell this only in Santa Barbara County.
I pull a little rose every year from the Grenache vineyards I work with; literally sticking a commercial kitchen sieve into the just crushed fruit and siphoning off clear must. This concentrates the Grenache portion of the M5 blend and gets us a little spring fling wine. This year the emphasis is on fling as the rose has a stupid amount of alcohol in it (ripe Grenache) and consumed in any context (picnic, staff meeting, aperitif) it will surely lead to orgies and drunken behavior. I don’t see it when I taste the wine but the laboratory I send it to for analysis assures me it has lots of potentness. I really like the wine but...... just to be safe, drink it really cold and with potential and current mates.
  Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc
It all started with M5 and it will become manifest with the release of ÜBER (my super Syrah, a partially co-fermented blend from the seven Syrah vineyards I work with) which is being released this fall. I find I can make more interesting, additionally complex wines blending my top vineyards while still making vineyard specific wines in smaller quantities to preserve terroir. In 2006, I blended the three Sauvignon Blanc vineyards I work with in the Santa Ynez Valley to produce my best Sauvignon Blanc to date. It is a blend of 55% McGinley Vineyards, 38% Purisima Mountain Vineyard, and 7% Vogelzang Vineyard. The wine is crisp and clean; there are hints of melon, green grass, some fruit cocktail, and a clear minerality on the nose. It’s more Pouilly-sur-Loire-like than New Zealand-ish this year. NOTE: Westerly Vineyard was sold in 2006 and it is now called McGinley Vineyard. Jack McGinley has retained
  Vogelzang Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
This wine immediately grabs your attention with exotic perfumes of tropical fruits (papaya, mango, pineapple) in concert with blood orange, fig and white flowers. These captivating aromatics overlay a body of supple dimension – there is a rich, creamy, leesy character to the texture that is relieved by a streak of lifting minerality. I tweaked the winemaking this year to include about 6 hours of skin contact prior to pressing. As usual fermentation took place in my temperature controlled cold room in a variety of variable capacity stainless steel tanks. This is a cold and very long fermentation which preserves the fruit and requires low SO2 additions due to the temperature, CO2 retention, and anti-oxidative lees preservation. Aged in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral barrels there is extended lees contact with lees stirring. My one row is farmed to perfection.
  Vogelzang Vineyard Syrah
This is my big hedonistic wine. Dark, nuanced with toasty vanillin oak tones and ripe dark fruit and sexy velvety rich mouth feel. Big delicious wine from the warmest vineyard I work with. Very aggressive farming by the best in the business Coastal Vineyard Care as we pass and pass again fine tuning the clusters so that they are living together in perfect harmony. Aged sixteen months in a mixture of new and used Francoise Frères barrels and kept at the Margerum cool winery untouched and racked only once. It’s good and good for you.
  Westerly Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
This is made from two separate pickings and two different sections at this special vineyard. Lot I is from the part of the vineyard I call “The Point” and Lot II is from the original vineyards that I started with in 2001 and that I ended up picking a full month later. My Westerly Sauvignon Blanc production now “big” enough, a whopping 900 cases that I can pick on two different days. I really like being able to pick some high acid nervy lean grapes and supplement those flavors with some riper richer sweeter stuff. 2005 is a good Sauvignon Blanc year, especially for earlier consumption as the wines are not quite as intense as years past. The flavors in 2005 are very good – usually I am trying to balance when to pick (looking for flavors) with sugar levels (trying to get flavors without excessive sugar). This year the grapes had flavors early – they tasted good even before they were fully ripe.


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