Carignan is actually a Spanish grape variety called Mazuelo grown in northeast Spain, which is high in tannins and acidity. It is an extremely old variety known for being highly productive which needs the Mediterranean heat to ripen fully. It also has high tannin content, high acidity and lots of colour. It can be a little bitter and tough if not handled carefully. It used to be planted extensively in Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence but is gradually being replaced by more nobler varieties such as Syrah and Grenache.
Carignan is still planted on the island of Sardegna (where it is known as Bovale Grande), in Lazio in Italy and is authorized in the Rioja blend. Old bush vines of Carignan have been used to make a few top varietal wines in Spain and in California, old Carignan is prized by Ridge in their blends. However the most promising Carignan in the New World is found in the Maule region of Chile.
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- 2015 Château FontarècheCuvée Pierre Mignard Corbières0.75l Red€6.59 €5.45Made by Arnaud de Lamy, previously a director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, at his historic family estate. A dark purple-ruby colour with a spicy, lighlty oaked nose showing aromas of blackberries and prunes. The palate is round, supple and full of character. The terroir of Corbières is well-suited to the classic Rhône varieties - such as Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Grenache which are very prettily blended in this wine.
- 2016 Château FontarècheCuvée Pierre Mignard Corbières0.75l Red€6.80 €5.62This good value Corbières has become a mainstay of our selection. It is made by Arnaud de Lamy, previously a director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, at his historic family estate. The wine has a dark, intense colour, good plummy nose with touches of cedar, spice and plums. On the palate the wine has flavours of bitter cherries, sloes and spice. Good Rhône flavours predominate on the finish. An easy wine for current drinking to serve with stews, paté and other meat dishes.
- 2015 Réserve PasserelMontpeyroux0.75l Red€7.20 €5.95A well-known appellation, the village of Montpeyroux was a famous 14th century fortress and the summer residence of the bishops of Montpellier. Its wines were well known for their rich character. Here in the Hérault the climate is sunny and dry with stony soils of limestone, garrigue and pebbles and the Syrah grape grows well alongside Grenache and Carignan. The grapes are given a long maceration to bring out the fruity flavours. The wine has a dark, pretty purple colour, a fresh nose with smoky, autumn fruit flavours, floral notes of violets and iris and more spicy, earthy flavours on the palate. The Syrah grape dominates here and there is a long, perfumed finish. Drink this wine with game, roast meats and cheeses. Drink : now - 2018.
- Côtes du Roussillon Villages0.75l Red€7.34 €6.07The magic ingredient here is a high percentage of old Carignan grapes which gives lovely richness and power to this wine without being heavy or overly tannic. Made from a blend of Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and Mourvèdre in the commune of Estagel, the reserve bottling of the Baissas family is called Terra de Lisa. Part of the wine is vinified using carbonic maceration which adds a fresh, juicy element to the blend with notes of crushed raspberries and blackcurrant. The wine is round and balanced with nice persistance and a fruity, spicy finish. Easy to drink now and very versatile, this wine matches well with roasted meats, pasta dishes and pizzas. Drink : now-2020.
- 2014 Château ValcombeEpicure Rouge Ventoux0.75l RedBio€10.70 €8.84We love this wine for its pure, fresh flavours and its ripe fruit, brimming with character and richness. Produced from vines that are more than 55 years old, grown on the southern slopes of Mount Ventoux but facing north-west and cooled by constant breezes, this wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Carignan and 15% Syrah. Grapes. It combines lovely plummy, briar fruit with spicy notes of black pepper, liquorice and cloves. At the center of this wine, there is excellent concentration, purity and depth which leads to a satisfying, rich finish. Excellent value, this organic wine, using barely any sulphur, just keeps getting better and better.
- 2015 Château ValcombeEpicure Rouge Ventoux0.75l RedBio€10.70 €8.84Luc Guénard is very proud of the 2015 vintage and especially the expression of the Grenache fruit which is evident in the bright, juicy fruit and white flower aromas. There is great purity and balance here and Luc’s natural winemaking is leading to less and less treatments and use of sulphur. We love this wine for its natural, fresh flavours and its ripe fruit, brimming with character and richness. Produced from vines that are more than 55 years old, grown on the southern slopes of Mount Ventoux but facing north-west and cooled by constant breezes, this wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Carignan and 15% Syrah. Excellent value, this organic wine just keeps getting better and better.
- Tavel0.75l RoséNew€13.10 €10.83A 12th century abbey is where this very attractive Tavel is made - a wine with lots of personality and richness. Produced from eight different grape varieties including white and red grenache, clairette and carignan, here is a very savoury rosé with a full taste of cherries, peaches and spices. This is a rosé to enjoy at the table with Mediterranean cuisine – shellfish, exotic or spicy food and fish. The ultimate luxury is to serve this wine in magnum – a beautiful, elegant, long necked bottle with individual gift box for a special meal.
- 2013 No Stone UnturnedOld Vine Garnacha/Carinena Terra Alta D.O.0.75l Red€14.90 €12.31Made from a blend of 62% Garnacha, 23% Carinena and 15% mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this wine comes from Pepe Fuster’s stone covered 26 hectare vineyard in Terra Alta in Catalonia, north-eastern Spain. The Garnacha vines are nearly 50 years old and this age gives the wine great concentration and intensity with dark, spicy, blackberry fruit that has been seasoned and enhanced by 10 months new French oak barrels. No Stone Unturned is a big, serious wine that is ripe and juicy enough to be enjoyed now but will also last a good 8-10 years in bottle. Serve with cheeses, game and roast meats.
- 2015 No Stone UnturnedOld Vine Garnacha/Carinena Terra Alta D.O.0.75l Red€14.90 €12.31English Master of Wine Ed Adams and South African winemaker Bruce Jack share a love of Spain and make modern, pure wines respecting the indigenous grape varieties. Made from a blend of 60% Garnacha, 25% Carinena and 15% mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this wine comes a stone-covered 26 hectare vineyard in Terra Alta in Catalonia. The Garnacha vines are nearly 50 years old and this age gives the wine great concentration and intensity with dark, spicy, blackberry fruit that has been seasoned and enhanced by 10 months new French oak barrels. No Stone Unturned is a big, rich wine that is ripe and juicy enough to be enjoyed now but will also last a good 8-10 years in bottle. Serve with cheeses, game and roast meats.