Topic of the Week 12/26/2018 - Advanced

Interesting points last week on the sub zones of Muscadet Sévre-et-Maine last week from , , , and . Thanks everyone!

This week: Carignan

Where does it grow? What are its challenges? What regions produce great examples? Name 3 top producers.

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  • Carignan, as mentioned in previous posts, most likely originated in Spain’s Aragon region – and most commonly referred to as Mazuelo.

    • Side note: The reason Mazuelo is the least ambiguous name for Carignan in Spain is because Carinena is town near Zaragoza in Aragon and the Samso is a synonym for Cinsault as well as Carignan. The Spaniards like to keep it interesting.

     As a varietal it is late budding and late ripening so it thrives in warmer climates. The bunches tend to sit very close to the vine making it difficult to harvest by machine

     The majority of Carignan plantings in the world are found in the Languedoc (holding about 80% of Carignan plantings in France). The popularity of the grape has diminished making way for the popular GSM blends. It is also found in Sardegna (Boval Grande) Spain (most commonly Mazuelo), US | California (Contra Costa, Sonoma, Mendocino). Chile, while not high on the scale for Hectares planted, is doing some amazing things with old vine carignan. 

    US:
    Pax: Old Vine Carignan from Testa Vineyard in Mendocino - not sure if he is producing this anymore
    Sandlands: Contra Costa - one of my favorites 
    Keep wines – Evangelho Vineyard in Contra Costa

    Chile:
    P.S. Garcia  Maule, Chile – Felipe helped to lead the charge in the VIGNO movement which is based around old vine carignan. This requires the vineyard be a minimum of 30yrs old, either original rootstock, or grafted onto old Pais rootstock, dry- farmed and from Maule. Min 65% old vine carignan – min 24 mo in barrel or bottle. 

    Spain:
    Familia Nit-Ortiz – Nit de Nin – Priorat (paired with garnacha)
    Joan d’Anguera – l’Hostel – Montsant
    Terrior al Limit - Priorat – garnacha based wines with carinyena
    Rioja Classics: Lopez de Heredia, Muga, La Rioja Alta will throw in a splash of Mazuelo in for good measure.

    France:
    Tempier – Bandol Cuvee Classique Rouge – Mourvedre, Grenahce, Cinsault, Carignan blends
    Domaine Hauvette – Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache blends

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