Carignan has been adding subtle requests to my life to be included in the 52 Weeks of Wine Training Program schedule. I’ve recently been on a French Rosé kick and I keep seeing Carignan as a varietal in the wines. Also, a few months back, I focused my efforts on researching canned wine which connected me with Sans Wine Company and their Carbonic Carignan. When I realized that Carignan was secretly inserting its presence into my wine consumption and education, I knew it needed to be incorporated in the training program.
So, this week we are tasting a French Carignan. Carignan originates from France but is also commonly produced in Spain and Italy where it is called Cariñena or Mazuelo (in Spain) or Carignano del Sulcis (in Italy). A great attribute about Carignan is that it is often highly affordable!
This wine was a huge welcome as I just received my final grades for the semester and there’s little that can get in my way from graduating from grad school in August! Though that really put me in a great mood when tasting this wine, this Carignan also stood out on its own as a fantastic wine. The color is a ruby red with just a hue around the rim of a pinkish purple. The aromas were of leather, cherry and oak. The flavors were oak, olive and licorice with very soft tannins. Overall, I really enjoyed the balance of the earthy notes with fruit, it was medium bodied but with strong enough attributes to give it “oomph”. The licorice notes are subtle (because believe me, I am not a huge licorice lover), and the acidity is higher than the tannins, though both well balanced. I gave this wine a four out of five corks rating – I will definitely buy it again! This wine retails for $10-15.