Must-Try Wine of Week: 2012 Margerum Sybarite Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara County Sauvignon Blanc

I don’t usually seek out sauvignon blanc, but this wine from one of California’s best sauvignon blanc growing regions caught my interest. Handcrafted by Margerum Wine Company in Buellton, the wine is composed of grapes from the top four sauvignon blanc vineyards Margerum works with: McGinley (50 percent), Curtis (15 percent), Grassini (20 percent) and Star Lane (15 percent).

The name, “Sybarite,” (“Sib-bar-right”) is a general term for someone who is fond of pleasure and luxury.

Winery proprietor and winemaker Doug Margerum is well known in the Santa Barbara County wine community. He originally owned the Wine Cask restaurant in Santa Barbara, noted for its Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list, but sold it, and then re-acquired it with new partners in 2009.

This wine has invigorating aromas of lemon curd, mango, baked pear, peach, and nutty butter. Intensely flavored and highly nuanced, the flavors of lemon-lime, pear, nectarine, gooseberry, and grapefruit fan out nicely on the palate, finishing on a bright and crisp note.

With its screw cap, the wine is easily transportable to picnics and summer parties. Slightly chilled, it’s an ideal, refreshing aperitif, by itself or with salty olives. Or it can pair with a variety of foods including mussels, shrimp and avocado salad, sole with lemon sauce, and grilled artichokes with lemon aioli. It’s also one of the few wines that works with asparagus.

Total production is 3,416 cases, making it widely available. Margerum Wine Company has a tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara in the historic El Paseo complex adjacent to the Wine Cask restaurant. The release price is $21, but it can be found in Orange County for $15.69 to $17.99 at,, and

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