Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Margerum M5

Margerum Wine Company
Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Cinsault
Santa Barbara County

Los Olivos, California, U.S.A.
$19.94 -- Twin Liquors, Austin, TX

Color: Medium reddish purple
Nose: Cherry candy, orange, green apple, a hint of paprika
Body: Medium
Front: Cherry, plum, orange peel
Middle: Watermelon Jolly RancherTM
Back: Caramel espresso, soft tannins
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

Finally, I think, I'm starting to see the core differences between French and California Rhone-style blends. The brightness of the mid-palate fruit in this wine--whose structure and flavors are otherwise very similar to a CDP--is distinctive. The tannins aren't as cultured as the CDP, either, but they're not the brutish ones of Napa Valley.

I've had earlier vintages of this wine and also liked them; it's much better with some decanting, as the fruit comes out more. Crucially, this wine is fantastic with a range of foods.

(Tonight I'm alternating sips of this with tastes of day 2 of Soos Creek's Sundance Merlot, which is fantastic, but which I won't review here because I want it all.)

A note on the notable, and to me suspect, glass ceiling of 90 points on Cellartracker for this wine: I fear that its questionable longevity is making folks rate it lower than their taste experience justifies, especially if they're drinking it with food. Cellartracker folks--knock me down if I'm wrong!