Happy Carignan Day
Initially I failed to see what an annual day in the name of a grape would do in the wonderful world of wine, but the announcement of today’s day of Carignan sparked my curiosity. And that is exactly what it’s meant to do.
Being that we at Borough Wines have a deep affection for all things Languedoc, where a large volume of this grape resides. We are often speaking of the characteristics of this regions wines. Carignan has had a bit of a bad run for a while, being described as harsh, overly acidic and even bitter. But the ones that we have in-house and have sampled are balsy, yes, but also concentrated with good acidity and high tannins. It’s all in the making, you see – and in the vines themselves.
Being a work-horse, you saw Carignan planted everywhere once. It was always a blending wine, often used with softer varietals such as Grenache. After a massive weeding out in the 1990′s, a large percentage were removed from France and replaced with more modern, easy on the palate varietals. But there were many Carignan still residing in Chile, Spain, the US and in the Languedoc. There has been some fan fare of late about the old vines of Chile producing some delicious Carignan wines, it appears that it may be the time for Carignan to have its moment.
Like all things, wine is in and out of fashion, and the Languedoc has been firmly in for some time now. We are thoroughly enjoying the more upfront, and rough diamonds of the South of France. It seems only natural that these often include Carignan in their blends.
Two of them which I would recommend from our stocks is the our Puech Auriol which is 100% Carignan, and the The Roche Audran Cotes Du Rhone which has 15% Carignan in its blend.
Happy Carignan day, which being a leap year will come around next in 2016. So you better drink up.