Interesting points last week on the sub zones of Muscadet Sévre-et-Maine last week from Ryan Kraemer, Megan Bauer, Jeremy Eubanks, Nathan Bihm and Robert Gomez. Thanks everyone!
This week: Carignan
Where does it grow? What are its challenges? What regions produce great examples? Name 3 top producers.
Carignan is a black grape variety which may have originated in Spain, specifically in the Aragon provence. It is late ripening and high-yielding (easily producing 11 tons/acre) and was once the most popular variety in France throughout much of the 20th century. Now, however, it is the fifth most planted and steadily declining with the help of an EU vine pull scheme. The variety is particularly susceptible to powdery and downy mildews and rot. In France, it can be found mostly in the Languedoc-Roussillon where it makes a structured wine that mostly finds itself in many of the red wine blends of the region. Producers of note in this region include; Domaine D'Aupilhac (Languedoc AOP, Montpeyroux), Bertrand Bergé (Fitou AOP) and Roc de Anges in Roussillon (Cotes Catalanes IGP).
In Spain, it can be found mostly in Cataluna. Samso/Cariyena (Carignan) makes compelling wine in Priorat but can also be found in Costers del Segre, Penedes, Tarragona and Terra Alta. Les Tosses, Ferrer Bobet , Vall Llach are some Priorat producers of note.