Sangiovese

Review: Area 5.1 Majestic 12

Remember how I raved about Area 5.1’s White Light? Well, I liked the winery’s Majestic 12 just as much, if not more.

This red wine blend is jammm-my.  Playing along with the alien theme throughout the whole wine tasting room, Majestic 12 is named after a secret committee allegedly formed in 1947 to recover a UFO that intelligence officials have called bogus and a hoax. But some believers still hold fast to the conspiracy.

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Area 5.1’s owners went with the alien theme because they’re…drumroll please…”resident aliens” from Australia living in the U.S.

One of the owners, Martin Brown, told the Santa Barbara Independent that the grapes used in Majestic 12, Sangiovese, Barbera and Nebbiolo, pull from different areas in Italy.

“There’s a little Piedmont, a little Tuscany, and a little Po River,” Brown said.

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Now let’s check out the anatomy of the wine:

  • Sangiovese can be tart, smoky and leathery and have a cherry flavor. It’s one of the top grapes grown in Tuscany.
  • Barbera, as I’ve written about before, tends to be crisp due to its high acidity and you can feel the briskness in the Majestic 12. Barbera, also an Italian grape, is lesser known than Nebbiolo. The Barbera wines I’ve had have mostly been blends, many with Nebbiolo, and tasted like cherry and a deep anise. Blending the two tends to soften the punch of Nebbiolo.
  • Nebbiolo, like the other two, can have a strawberry flavor and like Barbera have give a wine a crisp kick due to the acidity. The grapes grow primarily in the Piedmont region of Italy.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: Area 5.1
  • Type: Blend of Sangiovese, Barbera, and Nebbiolo
  • Origin: Santa Ynez
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Price: $28
  • Alcohol content: 13.5%
  • When to drink: While sitting on a porch at night, preferably somewhere far away from light pollution so you can see the stars and ponder the meaning of life, the universe and everything.