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At a glance

Country of Origin: France
Region of Origin: Languedoc
Typical Product: Red
Structure: Heavy
Climate: Warm - Hot, Dry
Soil Type: All types
Serving Temp: 58 - 63F
Ageability: 3 to 5
Sauces to Pair:
Meals to Pair:
Other Names*: Carignan (everywhere but North America)


Carignane (or more properly Carginan to the entire world except California) originally hails from Aragon in Northern Spain but has become a Varietal without a home because it's spread over many areas of the Mediterranean as well as South America, North America and Africa.  If any region can truly lay claim to introducing Carignane to the world, it's probably Languedoc in France although even that is debatable.  It's also a dubious distinction if you listen to most wine experts who consider Carignane an unremarkable wine.   Carignane is quite dark and with lots of tannins and is heavily acidic, usually rendering a wine with insufficient fruit to balance it.  Several winemakers have been able to produce better examples from old vine grapes grown in infertile soil, which limits much of its vigor.  Cline Cellars in California uses old vines grown in sandy soil to produce a good version.  They do minimal trimming of the foliage to keep the grapes slightly cooler.

Carignane buds late, ripens late and needs heat or can be susceptible to powdery mildew.  In cooler areas, rot can also be a problem.  It's generally thought of as a good blending wine because it can add substance but more importantly, produces big crops.  Because of its yields, it is one of the most widely planted grapes in France although the acreage is decreasing as producers look for grapes with more character.  Carignane grapes are blue-purple in color, average sized with thick skins.  The clusters are dense which doesn't allow for much airflow between the fruit accounting for some of their susceptibility to mildew and rot.  It can mutate quite easily which is a possible indication that it is an older Varietal.

Thanks to Charlie Tsegeletos of Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family vineyards for providing additional information.

* used in California

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Name Vintage Year Price Tasting Comments
Deaver Vineyards
2008  $25.00  Signature 
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