2022 Old Vines Carignan

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We are excited for the return of our classic “Chloe”! Our last release of the Old Vines Carignan was our 2019 vintage (with the exception of our carbonic version in 2020). We’ve always been intrigued by Carignan, a misunderstood variety that often gets planted where it doesn’t belong. When it’s treated right, it's a thing of beauty: juicy, brambly, and spicy. 2022 was a banner year for our Carignan. 

Label Art by Chloe Wise

100% Carignan

This is a single-vineyard wine; the grapes come from the Lee Testa Vineyard in the Calpella area of Mendocino County near Ukiah. The vineyard is on the benchlands to the west of the valley, and is farmed by Gary Venturi, who owns the vineyard next door.

These old vines were planted in the mid-1960s. The vineyard is dry-farmed organically. The soils are Yokayo series sandy loam that is very well drained. Due to Gary’s fastidious suckering and canopy management, this is an incredibly clean vineyard, and gets only one or two sulfur dustings per season.

This wine opens up with a nose of super intense red licorice (Twizzlers even), pomegranate, and dried cherry. The palate is quite expressive with flavors of bright cherry, raspberry, mineral, and spice. There is a controlled mid-palate that will expand with time if you allow it to open up. The finish is long with mineral intensity and quite supple tannin. This wine is a perfect partner to pair with chargrilled foods or Tandoori meats.

We had quite a warm growing season, but our grapes got plenty of hangtime before we picked them at 23 brix. Gary has a few vines of golden chasellas growing in an adjacent block, so we have him add them in with the pick every vintage. When the hand-picked grapes arrived at the winery, we sorted and destemmed them. No sulfur was added and we kept the tank jacket set at 72ºF. We were very gentle when handling the grapes to avoid over-extraction. We only performed light punchdowns, which basically just wet the cap. We performed one punchdown a day until the native fermentation kicked off and then did two punchdowns a day once it was going.

After the mid-point of fermentation, we backed off to one or no punchdowns. Once the tank was dry, we drained it overnight and pressed the skins and intact clusters in the morning. The free drain and the press wines were aged separately in 228-liter Burgundian barrels, 500L puncheons and 600-liter demi muids; with very little new oak coming from the demi muids. The wines were aged in a cool room where the wines underwent native malolactic fermentation. We racked the barrels about four months before bottling and then back to clean barrels. The wines were racked a second time a few days before bottling, when the wine was limpid. This is our method of creating clean wines like this one that don’t require fining or filtration.

Production: 372 cases | ABV: 13.91% | TA: 7.53 g/L | pH: 3.23 | VA: 0.71 g/L | DCO2: 715ppm | Total SO2: 36ppm | RS: 0.61 g/L | Turbidity at bottling: 14 NTU

Download a technical data sheet here.

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Produced + Bottled by Las Jaras Wines in Sebastopol, CA