BLOG: Languedoc Wine Part II- The Charm Of Carignan

What defines Languedoc wine? And how do we distinguish it from other French wine?

The grape variety is at the heart of the wine's personality, color, fragrance and structure. In Languedoc where is surrounded by the coast of Mediterranean and soaked in sunshine, Carignan, Mouvedre (cepage rare) and Grenache produce surprisingly powerful wine.

Carignan is a black-skinned wine grape variety, most likely native to Aragon, northern Spain (specifically the town of Carinena). The variety is found in wines along the Mediterranean coast, particularly in northeastern Spain and in France's Languedoc-Roussillon region. (source: Wine-Searcher)

Apart from its very approachable personality and strength in organic / biodynamic winemaking, the secret to Languedoc's good value and deliciousness lie in the uniqueness of the local grape varieties, namely Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Here we will focus only on Carignan because it's used to blend with other varieties in the majority of the Languedoc wines and it is four times more than the production of Cabernet Sauvignon in France, according to Jancis Robinson.

New series of Mas Foulaquier Winery - blend of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah
If you love the lighter-styled wines of Zinfandel, Merlot or perhaps a Côtes du Rhône blend, then Carignan should be on your radar. Since Carignan vines are naturally so productive, you’ll notice that the best Carignan wines tends to come from old vines (vieilles vignes) where the productivity of this grape is low. Wines will burst with fruit and taste rich and smooth with much lighter tannins (bitterness) than Cabernet. (source: Wine Folly)
Languedoc-Roussillon region

Around three-quarters of France's Carignan is located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, where it is largely produced as Vin de Table.

At our shop, we currently have Mas Foulaquier, which is a Pic Saint-Loup grower (Grand Cru du Languedoc), Domaine Sainte Eugenie and Chateau de Caraguilhes L'Echappee Belle of Corbieres Boutenac (Grand Cru), all of which are made up of mainly Carignan.

Robert Parker’s reviewer for the region called them “one of the six or eight most exciting and consistently excellent sources in the Languedoc,” rating most of their wines between 90 and 94 points. (source: Ansionia Wines)



Author: Evercohol Management
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