Posted by: wineatlunch | July 14, 2010

Carried Away By Carignane!

Carignane is a red wine grape that originated in Cariñena, Aragon and was later transplanted to Sardinia, elsewhere in Italy, France, Algeria, and much of the New World. Carignane is a late budding and ripening grape which requires a warm climate in order to achieve full ripeness. The grape is a difficult one for winemakers to work with being naturally high in acidity, tannins and astringency which requires a lot of skill to produce a wine of finesse and elegance.

The popularity of carignane is largely because it produces very large yields in the range of 11 tons/acre. In winemaking the grape is often used as a deep coloring component in blends.

The grape is most widely found in south France, particularly in the Languedoc regions of Aude, Gard and Hérault where it is often made as Vin ordinaire and in some Vin de pays wines. Also, in the Languedoc, the grape is often blended with cinsault, grenache, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, mourvèdre and merlot. In California, the grape is rarely used to make varietal wines, but some examples from old vines do exist. In Australia, carignane is used as a component of blended wines.

This grape is also used in production of rosé wines. The predominant grapes used for rosé wines include:  syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, cinsault, carignane, and pinot noir. Wow! Rose is a complicated wine and definitely deserves a try at your next summer meal!

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