Tag Archive: Carignan


This is a precocious blend of 45% Carignan, 30% Grenache and 25% Syrah from the Roussilon region in France. This is a standard blend, from some of the traditional grapes used from this region, Carignan and the Grenache. There must be at least 3 grapes used in the red blend, two of which must total no more than 90%. Though the main restriction on the AOC is on Carignan, which cannot be used for more than 60% of the blend. I’m a little saddened by this, because Carignan is like a feisty cat, and can be really fun to pair with exotic and odd dishes. But, like feisty cats, it’s somewhat of an acquired taste.

Altitudes isn’t terribly aromatic, and what nose can be sussed out is rich, jammy cherry preserve, sage and rosemary, but as if it were through a wax seal. However, this blend explodes across the palate like a child jumping out from a closet, yelling “BOO!” (Again, precocious.)

I love the rich, tart, cherry flavors, reminiscent of Chukar Cherries from Washington.The spiciness, and acid, balanced with the tannin, create a delightfully bold structure that nearly demands a fatty burger, maybe a pork loin, or cheese soup.  This wine is framed with sage, rosemary, and thyme, a perfect trifecta to go with the attitude of Carignan, no matter how Grenache’s soft, supple, welcoming attitude might try and temper that.

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Penya Vin de Pays

Penya is a deliciously nostalgic red blend from Roussilon, France. It is comprised of 20% Syrah, 65% Grenache, 12% Carignan, adn 3% Mourvedre. For a simple, cheap little wine, it’s like a warm blanket that smells like home, when you’re away at college, or studying abroad.
This wine is dark garnet ruby, with aromas of roses, sparkling red grapes, and on the tip of your tongue, just a hint of residual sugar. I’m not a fan of chaptalization, though over a few days, the minorly jarring effect wore off. This wine is filled with dark fruits, plums, figs, and black melons.
This wine is a delicious little red blend for a relaxing night.

The Celebration of Kurt Winegarder’s Life was held at Winegardner’s Wine’s Reception hall this afternoon in Bozeman. Over 100 people turned out to celebrate this quiet giant of a man’s life, along with his amazing wife Melinda, their children and grandchildren. Bob Dylan was playing in the background, as family members spoke, and a slide-show of life played on. The food was fantastic, and the wines were perfectly paired.
The wine I enjoyed best, was called “Le Pigeoulet 2013”. This wine is by Frederic & Daniel Bruner. This is a red blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan to form a delicious Vin de Pays Vaucluse from Provence France.
Le Pigeoulet is a beautifully balanced fruit, full of red raspberries, whispers of cranberries, like tinkling crystal chandeliers, in a Christmas Church, “The Church of the Common Denominator” surrounded in love and memories, with Bob Dylan playing in the background. When Kurt officiated his son’s wedding, he was ordained online, and made up that church as a response.

Onix Priorat Classic 2011

Onix Priorat Classic 2011 is a delightful blend of Grenache and Carignan from Spain. As a 50-50 blend, this wine has distinct characteristics of both varietals. It is tart and passionate like Carignan, but is softened by the fruity easy-going nature of Grenache. There are flavors of red fruit, pomegranate, and red melons. To add polish, there are juniper and cedar notes that open to a giant cranberry juice blast! This wine is salsa music and tango in a dimly lit studio on a humid night.

Rabbit paired it with pot-roast, which brought out the very best black plum juice- this was a perfect pairing. I was impressed.

Onix

Location E-2

This is another Orin Swift Location wine. Location E-2 is a blend of grenache, tempranillo, monastrell, and carignan from Spain. This wine is deliciously meaty, violet hints of pastille candy, with a little bit of old oak. The sample of wine that I had for Location E-2 was opened before hand, and lacked a finish. I would attribute that to being open for so long. I wasn’t a fan, but it’s all subjective.

Antano Crianza 2008

antano crianzThe Antano Crianza from 2008 is a excellent value blend. The blend is 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. As a Crianza, it’s aged two years in oak casks before being released for consumption. Aging adds a depth and complexity that I find surprising for just two years. This Spanish beauty comes from the makers, Garcia and Carrion in the Rioja Region of Spain.

This deep youth presents as ruby in color with slight rim variation. It is fruit forward, with raspberries, red apple skin, jammy baked strawberries, tinted with spice box and bark. It’s big and juicy, and easy to drink with or without food. It’s velvety, opening to black and red currants in the glass, followed by tart unsweetened pie cherries. The Crianza is delightfully aromatic, with something nostalgic about the flavor and scents, finishing with deep plum juice tartness as it fades.

There were two other Antano wines that were brought to our store at the same time as this Crianza. The first was an unaged Tempranillo, which was more fruit forward, youthful, and though delightful, not at all complex. The other was a Reserva, which was aged for 3 years. I had not had the pleasure of tasting this one, though if the 2008 is any indicator, this 2007 Reserva is a pleaser on wheels.