2021 Margerum Grenache, Santa Barbara County, California – WS95

2021 Margerum Grenache, Santa Barbara County, California – WS95



Do any of you remember the legendary Wine Cask restaurant and retail store in Santa Barbara   The Margerum family owned and operated the region’s ultimate dining destination in the region for three decades.  I have never forgotten the restaurant’s smoked salmon mousse tamales served in corn husks.

In 1994 the Wine Cask became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award.  Doug Margerum rose to prominence as a young sommelier after he graduated from UCSB in 1981.  A few years later he began the Wine Cask’s Futures program which helped draw national exposure for many of the county’s top wineries.  For 12 years (1986-1998) Doug partnered with Bob Lindquist (Qupé) and Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat) to own Vita Nova winery.  Finally in 2007 Doug sold the Wine Cask and the Margerum Wine Company was born in a tiny 240 square foot cold storage pad behind Brander Vineyards where he began handcrafting miniscule batches of wine.

Fast forward, and Margerum has become a Rhone specialist as his 18 acre Estate is planted to only those varieties.  Doug still 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.  His splendid and radiant fruit driven 2021 Grenache has been sourced and blended from these sites..  I know it seems a long ways off, but this brilliant red wine will be perfect your Thanksgiving table?

“Bright fresh, and fruity with fine soft and resolved tannins.  Luscious mouthfeel with grip, savory meaty notes paired with dried flowers, spice, sweet purple fruits and jelly.” – DM

  • The fruit is destemmed and fermented in 1.5-ton open top fermenters, where gentle punchdowns are   conducted 3-5 times daily to allow gradual extraction of color and tannin from the skins.
  • A cool and long fermentation retains fruit aromatics and increases flavor concentration.
  • A  soft pressing yields a wine full of complex tannins before maturing in neutral French oak puncheons.
  • 14.3% alcohol

“Sleek and dynamic, with refined raspberry, spiced cinnamon and cured meat accents that sprint toward the long, polished finish. Drink now through 2032. 490 cases made.” – 95 points, Wine Spectator (October 2023)