again, the 2015 Carignane is built from two great sources in Mendocino County,
both farmed by the father-son team of Don and Darrin Colombini. The primary
source (and the sole source for the ’12 and ’13 wines) is the Rovera vineyard,
planted in 1942 in the sandy, quartz-flecked soils of the eastern bench of
Redwood Valley. The Rovera vines have incredibly small clusters and berries,
with correspondingly low yields—less than 2 tons per acre in 2015. This gives
the fruit tremendous intensity and depth, backed by lightning-rod acidity. The
Cemetery vineyard, planted 1954, is dry-farmed in almost pure gravel, and
contributes bright cherry fruit and aromatic lift.
resultant wine features vivacious blackberry and raspberry aromas inflected
with an iron-like mineral complexity. Carignane has an intensely savory edge to
its fruit: stones, smoke, and celery seeds, evoking the wild herbs and rocks of
its homeland in the Priorat of Spain. The palate is rich and generous, with
plenty of structure from Carignane’s characteristic acidity and tannin.
Winemaking: 3.98 tons were harvested from the Road I block early
on September 11th, 2014, sorted, and destemmed. Fermentation began
spontaneously four days later and continued at a warm, brisk pace for another 12
days, during which the wines were punched down twice per day. After pressing,
the wines were barreled down into 7 neutral barrels and 1 new American oak
barrel (~13% new).
On September 28th, 1.75 tons
were harvested from the Cemetery block, sorted, and destemmed. The Cemetery
grapes had very low nitrogen (YAN) levels and ~5% mildew damage in 2015, so I
made the decision to inoculate with neutral yeasts. Fermentation proceeded with
twice-daily punchdowns for 12 days before being barreled down into 3 neutral
barrels and 1 new American oak barrel.