2002 Ridge Vineyards "Buchignani Ranch" Sonoma County Carignane
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 Carignan Buchignani Ranch emerges from a vineyard at the northern end of Napa Valley whose vines were planted in 1927, the 1940s, and 1952. While it demonstrates that Carignan is not one of the noble varietals, it is a dusty, earthy, deep ruby/purple-colored, elegant offering revealing some class and spiciness.
Lots of appealing baked cherry pie and spice aromas but the flavors are modest, showing mostly raspberry, cedar and cola, and it finishes with leathery tannins. (Web-2005)
This is part of Ridge's ATP, or Advanced Tasting Program, which is a line of wines that highlight the diversity and quality of some of California's smallest and most ecologically diverse vineyard sites and grape varieties. This wine was made from very old head-trained Carignane vines on Buchignani Ranch. Hot summer weather is typical of this part of northern Sonoma County; the grapes ripen quickly, leading to an early-September harvest. As usual, fruit was picked and fermented from five vineyard parcels separately. This is an unusually rich and concentrated carignane, aged for twelve months in air-dried American oak (10% new, 20% one and two years old, 70% three and four years old).