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
||September 27 & 28
Ancient Vines Carignane draws from seven vineyards in Oakley, Contra Costa County. Vineyards were planted in 1906 in deep, well- drained, sand-soil surviving on their native rootstock without succumbing to the root aphid Phylloxera. Vines are head-trained and dry-farmed. These growing conditions focus on ripening grapes and not on growing foliage and consistently produce fruit of stunning concentration. Hand selected lots produce a mere two to three tons of grapes per acre and have an added degree of ripeness and dimension, the result of sensitive farming practices, the Oakley terroir, and a unique cooling band of air that flows in from the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers. The area averages approximately 21 inches of rain a year.
Grapes are handpicked and de-stemmed at our winery in Sonoma. We do not crush the grapes during this process so many berries are intact during fermentation. The must is pumped to a stainless tank where it sits for 24 hours before being inoculated with pure wine yeast. Fermentation takes around ten days. The wine is tasted daily and the “press call” is made when appropriate amount of tannin is extracted. Once the wine is pressed and fermented dry a malo-lactic bacteria is introduced. The wine is racked within a couple of weeks of going dry onto about 35% new French Oak for six months.
Carignane holds the distinction of being one of the most widely planted red grapes in France. It is also grown abundantly in Italy, Spain, Algeria and Israel and was once the most planted varietal 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. Dark ruby in color, this Ancient Vines Carignane offers flavors of dark berries and cherry with hints of spice.
It’s a perfect match for grilled meats, lamb dishes, meatloaf or figs and fig sauces.