A tale of two Carignanes. Carignane (pronounced karen-yawn) is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, found in abundance in Spain, France and California. Most Carignane is grown in a prolific manner and used as a blending grape for its color and structure. By contrast, our Carignane, from our ancient vineyards that yield a mere two tons per acre, is a wine with firm structure and rich, dark fruit that will age gracefully. Dark ruby in color, the wine shows aromas of plum, chocolate and clove and hints of dark berries.
||Contra Costa County
Grapes for the 2012 Ancient Vines Carignane come from four of our oldest,
most historic and shyest-bearing vineyards in Contra Costa County. Many of
the vines are over 100 years old, planted by Italian, Spanish and Portuguese
settlers in Oakley. The grapes grow in deep sand-soil along the delta of the
San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers. Hot days are cooled by evening winds off the water, and the grapes develop extremely concentrated flavors. These dryfarmed, head-trained vineyards produce a scant, but intensely flavored, two to three tons per acre.
Individual lots of fruit were harvested separately according to ripeness and balance of acidity. The grapes underwent near total de-stemming and a very gentle crushing to ensure a large proportion of whole berries in the must. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks with select cultured yeasts. Temperature was controlled at an optimum 85 degrees F to extract color and flavor. The wine was pressed off its skins at dryness and racked twice before being laid down to 35% new French oak for eight months. Prior to bottling, the separate lots of Carignane are blended together. This creates a wine that is both balanced and harmonious, exhibiting firm structure, ripe tannins and luscious fruit.
Carignane is one of the most widely planted red grapes in France. It is also a common varietal in Italy, Spain, Algeria and Israel, and was once very common in the New World. It has traditionally been used as a blending grape because of its favorable yields, excellent acidity and big tannins. Cline Cellars is one of a few wineries to vinify this varietal on its own. Dark ruby in color, the 2012 Ancient Vines Carignane offers aromas of spice and plums.
It’s a perfect match for grilled meats, pasta dishes, and pizza with goat cheese.