Archive for ‘Carignan’

July 13, 2018

Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drézéry, 2013

We drank three bottles before I got down on my hands and knees and made a formal commitment.

 

Almost impossible to find, which I take to mean BC Liquor is no longer importing, but if you can find it it’s worth it.  A gem.

 

Online reviews referred to it as new world, modern, and pop and pour.  Pretty much the opposite of how we felt.  It was not welcoming or nearly open without air, and the very first sip of the very first glass was a bomb.  But it blossomed after 20 minutes with a balance and muted tannins that didn’t appear on opening.  Bears no resemblance to the common heavy hitters of California or Oz reds and was unmistakably French, with a purity of place that spoke of lavender fields, earthy notes and figgy pudding.  Delicious.  I’m rarely in concord with RP but the WA crew nailed this one.

 

Price: $29.99 before onerous taxes.

 

Market Liquidity: A rare quality find lingering on the BCLDB shelves.

September 3, 2014

Ridge Carignane, Buchignani Ranch, 2012

More novelty than satisfaction. From the vineyard that can do no wrong, this “lesser” grape gets a stand-up performance, 100% Carignane, but still it feels like wearing old comfortable jeans and not the dressed up no wrinkles nothing out of place reds that pour forth from Ridge with alarming consistency.

085

Hugh Johnson once wrote rather famously that the wines of the Languedoc (of which Carignane features prominently) are low-strength and no-character. If you are a curious sipper and want to try what is a fine example of the varietal, this is your go-to bottle; it certainly drinks easy, with character. But, truly, a better idea is to just spend the coin on their East Bench Zin, and get a little whiff of what the Monte Bello promises.

Price: $26 USD at the vineyard. Only 44 barrels produced.

 

Market Liquidity: To be fair, HJ dissed Languedoc in 1971; by 2008 he was lauding the district on his Sunday Times blog. ‘Nuff said.

August 19, 2014

Domaine Lafage Tesselae Old Vine Carignan, 2012

058This is the sort of red that Robert Parker loves. Let him love it. It’s pure, 100 per cent Carignan, which in BC makes it something of a rarity and a talking point. But the 15 per cent alcohol, the heady fruit notes, the nearly fortified wine-ness of it all, we found it tedious and predictable. And with just nothing unique or wonderful or striking to boot, despite expectations. A case for general consumption at a BBQ would be lauded.  Sipping over a medium rare ribeye, not so much.  I believe Parker referred to it as a “sexy, voluptuous beauty.” Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Price: A nicely comfortable $13 USD. You can’t beat that for value. On value alone I agree with Parker: 92 points. Hell, 100 points on value.

 

Market Liquidity: Ready to wear but not bespoke.