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.

Parents
  • I remember a Carignan focus seminar at Texsom a few years ago. The panel's takeaway after we tasted through 6 different varietal or majority Carignan was that it works wonderfully as a blending grape, but no so much on its own. The wines just didn't have a wonderful texture or enough complexity to stand alone. It fills a gap similar to Petit verdot or fer servadou, in that a little can go a long way to rounding out a blend. 

    , you were on that panel and have worked with the grape. Anything to add to this discussion?

Reply
  • I remember a Carignan focus seminar at Texsom a few years ago. The panel's takeaway after we tasted through 6 different varietal or majority Carignan was that it works wonderfully as a blending grape, but no so much on its own. The wines just didn't have a wonderful texture or enough complexity to stand alone. It fills a gap similar to Petit verdot or fer servadou, in that a little can go a long way to rounding out a blend. 

    , you were on that panel and have worked with the grape. Anything to add to this discussion?

Children
  • Yes, we pretty much found that it is boring on its own until the vines reach about 45-50 years of age.

    I can attest to it adding complexity in blending.  A few years ago, we have Leif Olsen plant it for us in Yakima.  I think one of its issues is that is crops very heavy, so must be managed. On its own, it just tastes like generic jug wine. But blended with Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre, it adss some aromatic lift and brightens the palate.  I'm happy we have it.