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, as mentioned in previous posts, most likely originated in Spain’s Aragon region – and most commonly referred to as Mazuelo.
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 anymoreSandlands: 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 – MontsantTerrior al Limit - Priorat – garnacha based wines with carinyenaRioja 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 blendsDomaine Hauvette – Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache blends