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K&L Staff Recommendations
A longtime participant in the wine business, Miguel Merino decided that rather than retire, he wanted to fulfill his dream of owning vines and making his own wine. Based in the Rioja Alta town of Briones, Miguel Merino makes - as he likes to put it - an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own 2 hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes these wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (especia... Read More »
A field blend of mostly Carignan, with Grenache, Syrah, Grenache Gris, Macabou and Terret, the wine is vinified with no sulfur during fermentation, and enjoys a low-impact elevage in used Burgundy barrels from a producer in Chassagne-Montrachet. Importer Kermit Lynch says of the vintner: "Maxime is part of the new wave of passionate viticulteurs who cultivate their vines with the utmost respect for nature and the soil. He’s certified organic, but also incorporates biodynamic practices into his vineyard management." The producer has caught the attention ... Read More »
Carignane has definitely become one of the defining grapes of Chile. The style is usually a bit juicier and less earthy than that of much of France, but still retaining fresh acid structure, low pH, and occasionally a subtle green, eucalyptus twang. The Weon, from the Maule Valley, is initially a bit funky, in a good way, but turns juicy and fleshes out nicely on the mid-palate. A great introduction to Chilean Carignane.
Think of it as California's creative answer to Beaujolais nouveau, with a much-needed few more months to settle down and shine: From a Santa Barbara couple whose winemaking philosophy puts the emphasis on native yeast fermentations, neutral vessels and minimal sulfur, this Carignane is inspired by a love of "its wild iterations in the Roussillon," according to Amplify, but is "inspired equally by Poulsard from the Jura." A lighter styled Carignane (not often seen in Santa Ynez Valley Pinot Noir country) with "just a hint of the savage."
From a shallow rocky vineyard on the east facing slopes of the Voor-Paardeberg. The soils are ancient decomposed granite gravels. This rugged rocky outcrop is on the boarder of the Paarl and Swartland regions. The clusters are hand-picked, mostly de-stemmed but a small component left whole cluster. As with all The Three Foxes wines, the wine is fermented using solely wild yeast. The wine stays on the skins for around three weeks for slow gentle extraction. It is then transferred to older 600L French oak Puncheons for 18 months maturation. A natural malo ... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Sativa, 100% old-vine Carignan from Mendocino County, is one of the most striking wines in this range. A host of inky blue and purplish-hued fruits, mint, spices and leather make a strong first impression. The 2014 boasts fabulous energy that gives the wine its sense of freshness and vitality. This is another strong showing from Lioco, not to mention a wine reader will not want to miss. (AG)" (2/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This wine is dark, dry and medium bodied, but very fruity and direct too, full of fresh blackberry and black-cherry flavors. Without too much tannin ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Vigno Carignan is pure Carignan from Loncomilla fermented in open stainless steel vats and aged for 18 months in barriques and oak foudres. This has the unmistakable nose of Gillmore: all flowers and aromatic herbs, hints of mint, even a touch of eucalyptus that is easy to recognize in a blind tasting. The palate shows some grainy, slightly dusty tannins that call for food, which paired with the high acidity (pH 3.28) makes it somehow austere and serious -- a bit of a contrast with the explosive nose. This has the stuffing and acidity to develop ...Read More »
This is a classic example of a rich, juicy Sonoma County Zinfandel-a true expression of the Russian River Valley terroir. It is produced from hillside-grown vines and blended with a bit of Carignane for texture and balance.
Joseph and Joan d'Anguera continue to produce some of the most elegant wines in all of Mediterranean Spain. Their vines are Demeter certified biodynamic, the winemaking very simple and non-interventionist, the resulting wines, fresh, inspiring and compelling. This is the winery's most limited, flagship bottling, their oldest Carignane vines aged in used wood for three years prior to release. Beauitfully fruited, perfumed, energetic and surprisingly light on its feet for this grape variety and region. Incredible stuff!
Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* A rare treat from a 120-year-old vineyard, this wine has a dark color, generous aromas and concentrated but dry fruit flavors. It will make a great pairing for robust, rich foods due to its medium body, lean mouthfeel and sturdy support from fine-grained tannins." (2/2017) K&L Notes: We have happily supported Neyers Vineyards for years. It is a winery that has a broad and eclectic range of wines, which I love, as anyone who works in a wine shop would—because variety is the spice of life! They are always balanced, pure, expressive and classic. But wh... Read More »
Derek Mossman is up to some truly interesting things on the Chilean wine scene. Whether it's dry farmed Maule Carignane, Cabernet Franc, or this opulent, rich yet decidedly fresher take on Maipo Cab, the man is making very interesting wines and raising the qualitative bar. This particular Cabernet is from the Maipo Alto subsection of the Maipo Valley, and shows opulent, floral aromatics with a suggestion of eucalyptus as well. On the palate, the red fruits and plums are juicy and bright, with bright acidity and a relatively toned down use of oak framing ... Read More »