Sybarite Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
The word “Sybarite” is derived from Sybaris, an ancient Greek city in southeastern Italy noted for the luxurious, pleasure seeking behavior of many of its inhabitants. Sybarites are people who have a fondness for sensuous luxury.
This wine is crafted from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown on the rolling hills of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA. Arguably one of the finest regions to grow Sauvignon Blanc. Vineyards: 35% Happy Canyon Vineyard, 35% McGinley Vineyard, 12% Vogelzang Vineyard, 7% Grassini Vineyards, 4% Santa Ynez Vineyard, 4% Two Wolves Vineyards and 3% Vincent Vineyards AVA: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA
Vintage Conditions: Santa Barbara County had ideal growing conditions for most of the year and mild summer temperatures until an extended Labor Day heat wave hit. We were ready and harvested most of the early ripening varietals before and right at the beginning of the heat. Of course, that was followed by rain but after that the weather was mild, and we had a long timeframe for the remainder of harvest in which to carefully pick for optimal flavors. Yields were slightly below average.
Maturation: The component wines are racked one time after fermentation is complete and stored in stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. 12% of the wine was barrel fermented and aged 4 months in barrels of various sizes – 228 liter, 265 liter, and 600 liters during which the fine lees are stirred. Very little SO2 is used, instead the lees and CO2 from fermentation help protect the wine from oxidation.
Exuberant and bursting with green fruits of kiwi, lime and melon mixed with green and yellow citrus blossoms, lime leaf, fresh grass and fragrant herbs. Great energy and alive on the palate with a wonderful minerality and wet stony texture. Layers of slate, grapefruit, honeydew melon, honeysuckle and lemongrass. Classic Loire style Sauvignon Blanc except with low SO2. 12.5% alcohol.
About the Producer
Doug Margerum has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. He owned Wine Cask, which in 1994 became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. It was sold in 2007.
Doug launched the Santa Barbara Wine Cask Futures Program in 1984, which elevated the exposure nationally of Santa Barbara Wine Country. From 1986 to 1998, he owned Vita Novawinery with Bob Lindquist (Qupé) and Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat). In 2001, Margerum Wine Company began in a tiny 240 square foot cold room behind Brander Vineyards. The philosophy: return wine making to its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal.
Margerum Wine Company produces limited quantities of wines made from both grapes grown on the Estate Vineyard and grapes purchased from other top vineyards from in and around Santa Barbara County. The 18 acre Estate Vineyard is planted exclusively to Rhône grape varieties. The acreage is divided between limestone hillsides and gravelly alluvial flatlands along Alamo Pintado Creek. The wines are now made at their state-of-the-art winery located on Industrial Way in Buellton. Margerum carefully selects the vineyards with meticulous attention to detail in all factors influencing the ultimate quality of the wines, including pruning, soil, climate, and farming methods.
Margerum primarily produces M5 (a Rhône varietal red blend), single vineyard Syrahs, a co-fermented Syrah called Über, Sybarite Sauvignon Blanc, M5 White (a Rhône varietal white blend) and Riviera Rose. Doug works with the top vineyards from the cool, eastern end of the valley in Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara to the cold vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills towards the western end of the valley.
Doug’s unique background with retail wine sales, as the sommelier/owner of a Grand Award restaurant and as a wine maker made him sought out by a variety of wineries to assist in the formation of their brands. Doug has consulted for Chêne Bleu super Rhône wines in France, and continues to consult for Happy Canyon Vineyards, and Robert Lieff’s Tipping Tree wines in the Los Olivos District, all in Santa Barbara County, as well as the Santa Barbara wines of Paradise Springs Winery based in Virginia.
Riviera Rosé, Santa Barbara County
Margerum Amaro, 12 Year Solera