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