eric narioo pyrenes yohann clos st gabriel   Carignan Renaissance
Press & Links
mark williamson, yoshio  ito, josep roca

Since the late 1980's a growing group of vignerons and winemakers have discovered in carignan a "vine of terroir", a cepage of character that when treated like nobility returns the flavor, an answer to our search for a vin d'ici (a wine from here) in a merlot world.

Carignan Renaissance has been covered by a number of world class journalists:

The International Press writes about carignan
 Jancis Robinson syndicates carignan Marc Medevielle gives a notice in Terre de Vins
Tim Atkins defends a grape, Fuel's Paradise
Anthony Rose It's always the quiet ones ...
Other carignan tasting notes, links, articles, and more:
la passion du vin daniel roche Sauver Soldat Carignan Harpers Wine and Spirits Weekly

The best of Carignane is underwhelming

Jancis Robinson

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Is the Carignane grape -- known as Carignan in France and so widely planted there that for ages it was the most widely planted red wine grape in the world -- good, bad, ugly or great? I have been consistently critical of the poor old Carignane vine over the years, which is why, I suspect, the organizer of the first known international celebratory Carignane tasting last summer was so keen for me to attend.

Far too many southern French reds have been spoilt by that harsh, green, acrid smell of over-produced Carignane, and I have been sympathetic to the authorities' attempts to reduce the amount of Carignane planted in Languedoc- Roussillon.

For most of the second half of the 20th century, the productive Carignane vine was the most common vine variety in France. It was the vine of choice to replace the even worse (more vapid, even more productive) Aramon in the vineyards of the Midi, chiefly because of its high yields and frost resistance. The pieds noirs -- French colonists in Algeria -- knew how dependable it had been in the heat of North Africa and were only too happy to plant it when political upheaval led them to establish new wine estates in the south of France.

By the end of the 1970s there were more than 500,000 acres of this inconveniently late-ripening variety in France -- far more than the area devoted to Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, for example. Nowadays Cabernet and Merlot reign supreme and Carignane -- though it has been overtaken by the more noble Syrah -- is still the eighth most-planted wine vine in the world, with nearly 300,000 acres of it worldwide, according to the calculations of Pat Fegan of the Chicago Wine School, the only man I know as fascinated by these statistics as I am.

Incentives to rip out vines

With 6,000 acres planted, Carignane is still the 10th most planted red wine grape in California, but in France the real sea change came in the 1990s when, thanks to heavy financial inducements, southern French growers ripped out Carignane in favor of more fashionable "improving" varieties or other crops entirely. I can see why the appellation authorities have steadily reduced the proportion of Carignane allowed in wines such as Minervois, Corbieres, Fitou, Faugeres, St. Chinian and Coteaux du Languedoc in favor of gentler, fruitier grapes such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault.

And yet, there are wines made almost exclusively from Carignane that are very impressive. Some of the most obvious are grown not in France but over the Spanish border on the distinctive brown schists of Priorat in Catalonia.

After all, the grape, which is called Carinena in Spain, is presumably Spanish in origin, from around the town of Carinena due west of Priorat in the province of Aragon. The rulers there at one time conquered much of the Mediterranean. Carinena still grows in northern Spain with some seriously old vines clinging to the precipitous slopes of Priorat. Wines such as Cims de Porrera, Vall Llach and the new Clos Manyetes from Rene Barbier depend almost exclusively on them.

Blind tasting

This summer's Carignan Renaissance event was held in an old wine cellar transformed into hip lighting manufacturer just outside Beziers, organized by John Bojanowski, an American married to a Frenchwoman, Nicole Bojanowski, who makes Clos du Gravillas wines in St. Jean de Minervois. He had been clever enough to realize there is now a body of wine producers, including his wife, who are staking a substantial part of their future on the viability of Carignane. Hence the existence of and this gathering of tasters from Spain, Paris, Japan, England and all over southern France.

We tasted 24 Carignanes blind from Languedoc, Roussillon, Priorat, South Africa and California (with examples from wineries including Coturri, Fritz, Mazzocco, Pellegrini and Wild Hog). The grape is barely known in Australia and South America, but it is a shame we did not taste some of the voluptuous examples of Carignano del Sulcis made in southern Sardinia. The wines were mainly 2001s and, as usual, we came to almost as many conclusions as there were tasters.

For what it's worth, these are mine:

-- Seriously old Carignane vines can produce concentrated, characterful wine if yields are not too high and the terroir is interesting. Many of my favorite wines came from Priorat where all these conditions apply -- although these wines are as tough as the terrain and tasting them can be like sucking a stone. They are truly terroir-driven.

-- The quality is dependent on the existence of ancient Carignane vines in the right place -- just as, for example, some not-especially-promising sites in Contra Costa County and Barossa Valley are currently able to produce remarkable reds simply because of the age of their vines. But success with particular ancient vines does not validate the combination of Carignane and these terroirs. I cannot honestly see the point of planting young Carignane anywhere -- although I know Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards is a great fan of its inclusion in field blends with old Zinfandel vines.

The pope of Languedoc Carignane, Sylvain Fadat of Domaine d'Aupilhac in Montpeyroux, is keen on keeping and even planting a little more Carignane for blending into his Coteaux du Languedoc to boost the acidity. In Montner in Roussillon, young Marjorie Gallet of Roc des Anges is so devoted to the Carignane plants that constitute 60 per cent of the vines she bought a few years ago that she is planting more of it.

-- Then there is the question of oak. Fadat, who has a particularly gentle hand as a winemaker, is adamant that Carignane and too much new oak are not a pretty combination. I agree with him and found one or two wines, including the 2001 Roc des Anges 1903 and 2001 Wild Hog Saini Farms Dry Creek Valley Carignane, just overwhelmed by oak.

However, this was hardly an impartial group. It was a bit like discussing the existence of God at a prayer meeting. The discussion tended to revolve around the lack of decent planting material and which rootstock suits Carignane best rather than around the essential quality of Carignane as a varietal, which was taken by most of the gathering as a given.

An unsavory character

My main criticism of Carignane at its least successful is its combination of high acidity and green, unripe flavors. And I'm afraid I found that characteristic in quite a number of this supposed creme de la creme of the Carignane firmament (which for obvious reasons ignored the great underswell of the French wine lake, which is made up of a tide of sour Carignane).

Among non-European wines the 2002 Fairview Pegleg Coastal Region Carignane from South Africa, the second vintage of a wine I already admired, acquitted itself well.

It was the favorite of Perpignan's resident wine writer Michel Smith, who considered himself vindicated when told the landscape of Pedeberg granite in Paarl, where it is grown, looks just like Corbieres in southern France (something I cannot help doubting).

I am also sure California can field more impressive Carignanes than the examples mustered by Bojanowski -- though as I know from experience, it is by no means easy to import non-French wines into France. The 1999 Mazzocco Alexander Valley Carignane, 2002 Pellegrini Old Vines Redwood Valley Carignane and 2002 Coturri Testa Vineyards Mendocino County Carignane did not score highly with me; the 2001 Fritz Colombini Vineyard Redwood Valley Carignane was impressively sophisticated on the palate, even if marred by off-puttingly green notes on the nose.

For me, the finest French Carignanes managed to avoid this characteristic, presumably because the grapes ripened fully, either because 2001 was such a good vintage in the south of France and/or because of the age of the vines and/or because of the terroir and/or because yields were low enough (though Fadat says 2.3 tons per acre is quite low enough). His 2001 Domaine d'Aupilhac Le Carignan was certainly a model of restraint, the wine from the first flight I set on one side for all subsequent wines to be measured against. And my very favorite wine of all came from the Fitou village of Paziols. The 2001 Domaine Bertrand-Berge Cuvee Megalithes Fitou was refined, sophisticated and appetizing.

But perhaps this is to miss the point of Carignane. Perhaps it is meant to be a cussed brute, like the rocks that litter the Languedoc landscape? If so, let others wallow in it.

Jancis Robinson is a London-based, internationally known wine journalist, book author and educator. Visit her Web site at and e-mail her at

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Home > Enjoyment > Food & Drink > Features

It's always the quiet ones ...
By Anthony Rose
11 September 2004

One of the modish wheezes of those who passionately espouse a particular grape variety is to genuflect to it by holding an international conference on the subject. When you're between harvests, it's an excuse if nothing else, for in-depth product familiarisation. Pinot Noir has long been a favourite of New Zealanders and Oregonians, riesling and grenache have had their moments under the international spotlight, and the Barossa Valley recently hosted its inaugural Shiraz Alliance.

Never before to my knowledge though has anyone remotely considered getting down on one knee to the carignan grape other than to pull it out of the ground. Carignan is widely regarded as the sturdy shire horse of the southern French vineyards, thanks to its rich colour, resistance to drought and capacity to hang on to acidity. So holding a conference on it is rather like foodies holding a potato peeler convention or fashionistas a big-knickers party. Yet there I was in the surreal environment of the Carignan Renaissance (see, an event organised in Béziers by French winemakers, aimed at changing our perceptions of this lowliest of varieties.

The French can parler the parley, and the lofty words that flowed like claret could have convinced all but the most sceptical that this strapping, rustic yokel is a bit of a player after all. But it's the wines that have to walk the promenade and, to be fair, a handful of the pure carignan wines on show, not only from the South of France, but from Priorat in Spain, from California and South Africa, were very good indeed.

They were good because of the special treatment lavished on them by enthusiasts who have spotted the potential for creating concentrated wine from old vines. They are the exception. The humble carignan has been all but discarded in appellations such as Pic Saint Loup. While a maximum proportion is prescribed in many other areas, such as Minervois, which allows up to 30 per cent in the blend.

Indeed carignan forms a substantial proportion of the 100,000 hectares of vines uprooted in the last few years in the Languedoc to make way for so-called "improving" grapes such as syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. According to Jean-Philippe Granier, who runs the Coteaux du Languedoc office, "The authorities don't say that they're against carignan, but they provide the means for pulling it out. It's like not saying you don't like someone and then providing the means for getting rid of them!"

Yet in a number of important appellations such as Saint Chinian, Corbières and Fitou in particular, carignan remains the traditional variety, and much old carignan makes for a substantial part of classic southern blends when properly cared for and vinified. One of the main reasons grapes like carignan (cinsault is another) have been so pooh-poohed in the past is because winemaking itself was so much more rustic.

Today, growers who work hard at correcting the age-old faults of lack of acidity, overripeness and overoaking, are re-inventing carignan in blends of greater finesse generally. So while the change to syrah and other classics is part of an ongoing process of improvement, carignan remains a living heritage of Languedoc wine. Indeed, it has a valid claim to be this historic wine region's soul, albeit its rustic soul.

©2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd. All rights reserved


Fuel's paradise

Carignan was once something you'd pour in your petrol tank. Now it's going places, says Tim Atkin

Sunday August 22, 2004
The Observer


What's the world's worst grape variety? Readers will know about my loathing of Pinot Grigio (the Dire Straits of the wine world), but even I have to concede that there are worse things than that. Wine drinkers would surely be better off without Airén, Trebbiano, Müller-Thurgau, País, Sauvignon Vert, Colorino, Doradillo, Ruby Cabernet, Clinton and Durif. And don't get me started on Merlot.
Some people would include Carignan in a list of grapes they would have throttled at birth. In her useful Guide to Wine Grapes (1996, OUP), Jancis Robinson politely described this vigorous hot-climate grape as 'quantitatively extremely important and qualitatively fairly disastrous'. There are more than 700,000 acres of Carignan planted in France, Spain, Italy, Australia and the United States, but they are generally associated with the kind of wine you could pour into an empty petrol tank in an emergency.

That's why I was more than a little surprised to be invited to the first meeting of something called Carignan Renaissance, a group with its own website ( and the conviction that Carignan has a 'beautiful commercial future'. Out of professional curiosity, I went along to find out.

The tasting and all-day seminar were held in a building owned by 'the Languedoc's only public lighting manufacturer', which would have to be described as a low-key location. To my amazement, the organisers had put together a tasting of 23 pure Carignans from Spain, South Africa and the US, as well as the south of France, and assembled some very good winemakers (and Jancis Robinson, hardly Carignan's greatest fan) to taste them.

The fact that Carignan is usually blended with other varieties and rarely mentioned on labels has made its, er, charms harder to appreciate. Does it deserve more attention? The tasting was mixed, partly because it was a hot day and the bottles had been open for a few hours by the time I arrived, but it included some outstanding wines: Fairview in South Africa, Mazzocco in California, Domaine Rimbert in St Chinian, Domaine Bertrand-Bergé in Fitou and Matassa in the Roussillon.

The tasting helped to change my mind about Carignan. I'd always assumed that, at best, the variety was a solid performer that retained useful acidity, even in very warm years. I also knew its use was mandatory in some appellations, such as Fitou, but my hunch was that this had more to do with politics than wine quality.

Katie Jones, export director of the Mont Tauch co-operative in Fitou, put me right. 'The problem with Carignan has less to do with the grape itself than with where it's planted. People generally put it in their most fertile vineyards and go for big volumes, but if it's grown on poor soils with lower yields, it can produce some fantastic things.' When it's made well, it's a grape with a strong personality. And we need a few more grapes like that.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

Il faut sauver le soldat CARIGNAN ,

Daniel Roche

Samedi 13 novembre 2004 au restaurant les Vins de l’Horloge à Montpeyroux

Languedocien d’origine, le chanteur Bobby Lapointe aurait pu chanter ses mérites et dire de lui qu’à l’inverse du violon, le carignan ne supporte pas la médiocrité. En effet, pour être capable du meilleur, il doit implanter ses racines dans un sol adapté à sa rusticité et à sa vigueur. Point ne faut de terrains fertiles ou humides, de régions froides et ombreuses, c’est un bon gars du sud qui parlent l’occitan et l’espagnol, il aime s’exposer au cagnard du midi et aux zéphyrs rafraîchissants venus du nord. Généreux, parfois trop, il faut savoir le guider et lui faire porter charge raisonnable. Dans ces cas, le carignan est un type honnête et franc qui donne des raisins aptes à produire des vins riches et fruités, vifs et gras, lisses et longs...“ la preuve !”

La garrigue Château la Casenove Côtes du Rousillon 2000 **
Jolie cuvée simple en provenance du Roussillon, belle fraîcheur fruitée, demi-corps, souple et facile à boire.

Les trois seigneurs Château Aiguilloux Corbières 2001 **(*)
Robe grenat violacée, nez profond de fruits noirs et d’épices, agréable fraîcheur mentholée en bouche, matière et fin de bouche brutale.

Les dimanches Clos de l’Ahnel Corbières 2001 ***
Robe superbe très foncée, grande franchise au nez, arômes de fruits noirs de cacao, de lard grillée, bouche équilibrée ronde et élégante aux arômes vifs et brillants, belle longueur, tannins subtils.

Le carignan Domaine d’Aupilhac Vin de Pays du Mont Baudile 2003 (brut de foudre) ***(*)
Belle robe violacée, nez fermé, bouche ronde à l’attaque, énergique et sauvage, belle longueur. Grand devenir.

Vieilles vignes les Vignerons de l’Agly Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes 2002 ***
Vin de plaisir à la présentation rubis brillante, joli nez floral et épicé, bouche très ronde, rétro-olfaction de fruits noirs et de café, simplicité et souplesse. Un vin charmant pour un prix attractif.

Lo vièlh Domaine du Gravillas Vin de Pays des Côtes du Brian 2001 ***(*)
Superbe robe noire bordée de bleu, nez profond et envoûtant de fruits noirs et d’arabica, bouche souple et ronde, très grillée, d’une grande élégance, vin massif aux tanins ciselés. Bel avenir assuré.

Carignator 1er Domaine Rimbert Vin de Table **(*)
Couleur énorme, nez simple de fruits noirs écrasés (cassis), bouche puissante, rocailleuse, rustique ,tanins charnus. Un vin de chasseur.

Le carignanissime Clos Centeille Minervois 2000 ****
Rubis brillant, nez superbe et raffiné de cerise noire, d’épices douces, de réglisse, de cacao et d’olive, bouche épatante de fraîcheur et d’élégance, fruitée, belle finale sur les notes de garrigues, long.

Les armières Domaine de la Garance Vin de pays de l’Herault 2001 ****
Rubis brillant aux reflets violacés, nez puissant et “culinaire”, notes marquées de sorbet cassis, réglisse, jus de viande, chocolat noir, guimauve, bouche ronde d’une grande fraîcheur, jolis tanins veloutés et ronds, belle matière, grande énergie. Un vin très savoureux.

Romain Pauc Château La Voulte-Gasparets Corbières 2000 -
Problème de bouchon, manque évident de netteté.

Les alaternes Château Bonhomme Minervois 1998 **(*)
Couleur évoluée brunissante, nez de fruits confits, de cuir, de tapenade, de pruneau à l’armagnac, bouche ronde un peu molle, en demi-matière, tanins fondus, à boire.

Le carignan Domaine d’Aupilhac Vin de Pays du Mont Baudile 1994 ****
Belle robe grenat pourpre à légers reflets bruns, superbe nez de terroir, compote de fruit rouge, “sous bois après la pluie”, cacao, poivre blanc, réglisse douce, cuir de bohème, beaucoup de rondeur en bouche, délicat toucher de bouche, matière affable, belle finale aux notes giboyeuses et fruitées, “un vin délicieux”.

Merci aux vignerons Sylvain Fadat et Pierre Quinonéro qui nous ont fait l’honneur de leur présence, et nous ont régalé de leur vins et de leurs explications passionnées.
Merci à tous les amateurs du club qui avaient fait le déplacement à Montpeyroux (certains venant de loin ) pour déguster ces quelques bouteilles en cette matinée ensoleillée et venteuse.
Merci à Jean Marc et Géraldine Wormser pour leur accueil et leur cuisine encore une fois très savoureuse.

Echelle de notation
***** grand vin, magnifique
**** vin excellent, de haut niveau
*** très bon vin
** bon vin, correct
* moyen
De la dégustation

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Auteur: Jérôme Pérez
Date: 26-07-2004 22:24

Voici mes commentaires de dégustation. Cette dégustation a eu lieu à l'aveugle et les vins notés sur 20.

1- la robe est très sombre, pourpre avec des reflets violines. Le nez est d'abord animal, réduit puis le goudron et les fruits noirs comme la prunelle se font jour.
À l'attaque, le volume est important, sur des saveurs de fruits noirs. Le vin est souple, soyeux avec une belle acidité. 14/20
Clos du Gravillas 2001 rendez-vous du soleil.

2 -la robe est médium avec les traces d'évolution. Le nez fest floral, alcooleux avec un peu d'acétate. Le vin est piquant en bouche et à mon avis cette bouteille est défectueuse. Non noté.
Domaine de la Treille Muscate 2002.

3- la robe de ce vin est dense, sombre, noire. Le nez est d'abord un peu lactique puis s'exprime la fumée et des notes florales de pivoine. En bouche, le vin montre du volume, du soyeux, la trame est bien lisse et serrée. Il s'agit d'un vin puissant et racé. Très bon. 15/20
domaine d'Aupilhac 2001

4- la robe est sombre avec des reflets violines, c'est une belle robe.
Le nez est marqué par le bois mais il y a du fruit derrière: fruit noir, fumée et un côté floral.
En bouche, c'est très équilibré. L'alcool ressort un peu en finale. Mais c'est globalement un bon vin, ambitieux et bien élevé. 14.5/20
Roc des Anges 2001

5- La robe de ce vin est impressionnate de noirceur et de profondeur. Le nez est puissant avec des notes de graphite, minérales et de goudron. Bouche très construite, avec des saveur de pivoine et de goudron. Finale vive et tannique, un peu asséchant: je ne sais pas si ce vin va s'harmoniser au vieillissement. ?/20
Observatory, Afrique du Sud 2002

6- La robe est elle aussi très profonde, noir violine.
Le nez est sur la retenue, un peu lactique, caramel.
En bouche, le vin est souple et suave, le grain est lisse, serré. Une belle mâche et un très bel équilibre. Grande longueur. Très beau vin. 16/20
Bertrand Bergé 2001 Les Mégalithes

7 -la robes est dense, profonde, très sombre avec des reflets violines. Au nez, on note du café, les épices et de le cuir. En bouche, le vin et se montre superbe, soyeux et gras, puissant et frais. C'est un vin long et gourmand. Superbe. 17/20
Lo Vielh, Clos du Gravillas 2001

8- la robe de ce vin est médium, violine qui tire sur le vieux rose. Au nez cela évoque la réglisse et la fumée. Des saveurs de caramels se font sentir en bouche. La structure est assez mince et la finale boisée. C'est un vin très marqué par l'élevage. 13/20
Pellegrini 2002, Californie

9- La robe est noire et opaque.
Le nez évoque le cassis avec un côté un peu végétal.
Volume et ampltude caractérisent la bouche. C'est frais avec une surprenante finale mentholée. C'est très bien mais c'est dommage que le nez soit si agressif. 15/20
Champs des Marjolaines 2001, domaine Rimbert.

10- La robe semble connaître un début d'évolution et elle est moins dense que la moyenne des vins présentés.
Le nez est floral, frais mais simple.
En bouche, ce vin évoque presque la syrah avec cette saveur de violette. C'est assez mince, mais frais et équilibré. 13.5-14/20
Terrasses d'Elise Le Pigeonnier 2002

11- la robe est très dense et sombre avec un début d'évolution, disons que le vin est d'un noir qui est légèrement bruni.
Profond et racé, le nezmontre un fruit précis, la grenade, des notes fumées et du goudron. Superbe bouche très racée avec de l'amplitude, de la puissanceet du soyeux. Excellent, un vin ambitieux et maîtrisé. 17.5/20
Priorat, Cims de Porrera 2001

12- La robe est très jeune, violine avec beaucoup d'éclat.
Au nez ça sent le raisin frais, avec beaucoup de naturel, mais c'est aussi un peu annimal.
En bouche, c'est mince et rêche. Finale courte. Bof 12/20
Domaine de Nizas 2002

13- La robe est très dense, noire violine, impressionnante.
Goudron, mûre, notes fumées caractérisent ce beau nez.
Puissance et volume pour la bouche mais le boisé me paraît envahissant et la finale est un peu sèche. Puissant et extrait. 14/20
El Arbres 2000 terroir de cims de Porrera isolé (essai)

14- Très sombre à l'oeil, la robe présente un début d'évolution: bel éclat.Le vin est boisé. Un joli fruit cependant pointe, un peu en retrait.
En bouche, des saveurs de fruit cuit sur un beau volume. Bel équilibre. C'est bien, il y a du fond, mais il en manque pour égaler les meilleurs. 15/20
El Pigate 1998 Essai parcellaire de cims de Porrera

15- La robe est très dense, un peu évoluée. Au nez c'est animal assez prononcé. La réduction fait rage.
Très puissant en bouche, la réduction s'y ressent aussi et la finale est un peu rêche et sèche. C'est un vin puissant qui manque un peu d'élégance. 14/20
Clos Manyetes 2000 Priorat.

16- La robe est médium, un peu évoluée avec les bords aqueux.
Le nez est floral et épicé, garrigue avec une finale très fraîche
C'est un style différents des vins présentés, plus fin et frais. Bien. 15.5
Wild Hog 2001, Californie.

17- La robe est plus sombre que celle du vin précédent, plus jeune aussi.
Le nez n'est pas net, pas propre, un peu acétate.
En bouche, ce n'est pas bon. Non noté
Frietz Winery, Californie

18- La robe est dense un peu brunie tirant sur l'olive noire.
Justement, on retrouve l'olive au nez avec des notes de goudron.
Très marqué par l'olive en bouche, finale un peu sèche, voilà néanmoins un vin original. 14/20
Carignator 1er, Domaine Rimbert 2003

19- La robe est dense et sombre.
Le nez est assez discret avec des notes réglissées.
En bouche on retrouve du voçlume et du soyeux avec un peu d'amertume. Finale fraîche.
C'est bien, dans la moyenne de cette dégustation. 14/20
Coturri Winery 2002, Californie.

20- La robe est très sombre, violine et juvénile. Le nez est lourd avec des notes lactées et de caramel.
En bouche, la corpulence est moyenne, avec un équilibre correct, mais lma finale retrouve ces notes lactiques un peu lourdes. 13/20
Fairview Winery 2002, Afrique du sud.

21- La robe est noire d'une densité et d'une profondeur impressionnante.
Le nez est très fin, parfumé et complexe, avec des notes de banane séchées.
En bouche, on est frappé par le grand volume. C'est plein et complet. LA finale est certes tannique, mais ce sont des tannins bien mûrs.
De la classe et de la profondeur. 17/20
Priorat, Val LLach 2001

22- La robe est légère avec des traces évidentes d'évolution.
Le nez est un peu animal, un peu végétal, assez diffus.
La bouche est mince, sèche et courte. 11/20
Mazzocco 1999 Californie

23- La robe est énorme, violacé, insolente.
Le nez est sur la retenue, un peu animal, mais il y a un joli fruit derrière et des notes minérales
Un grand volume en bouche et un peu de sècheresse en finale. Ce vin semble très intéressant mais fermé à double tour pour l'instant. 14-14.5/20
Domaine Matassa, (Calce PO)

24- La robe est très sombre avec un début d'évolution.
Le nez est sauvage avec beaucoup de naturel.
Belle bouche sapide. Du volume et du soyeux. La finale est bien construite. C'est un beau vin. 15/20
Sinols, Catalogne 2001

Auteur: Jérôme Pérez
Date: 26-07-2004 22:34

Cims de Porrera
Val Llach
Clos du Gravillas Lo Vielh
Les Mégalithes du Domaine Bertrand Bergé

Ce sont pour moi les vins qui se détachent de cette dégustation.
Finalement pas mal d'homogénéité avec une foultitude de vins qui se sont positionnés avec des notes assez semblables. Il sera intéressant d'avoir les commentaires de synthèse.

Auteur: Hamitan
Date: 26-07-2004 22:45

Superbe et surtout incitatif.


Auteur: jeanclaude
Date: 26-07-2004 23:10

Merci Jérôme pour ce très instructif et exhaustif CR. Plus je le lis et plus je me dis que décidément le domaine B.B réalise des cuvées de toute beauté. Lorsque l'on sait que Les Mégalithes est un vin qui ne coûte "que" 9€, cela laisse songeur sur le potentiel de la cuvée Jean Sirven!

Jean Claude

Auteur: Anthony
Date: 27-07-2004 05:56

Tes 2 premieres places trustees par le Priorat .... c'est en quelque sorte une reconnaissance de ces vins que beaucoup (ici) ont decouvert via LPV. Ceci dit, les prix ne vons surement pas baisser apres cela .

, Anthony

Auteur: Yves Zermatten
Date: 27-07-2004 07:49

bravo au Priorato ! on a beaucoup parlé de Clos Martinet et de Clos Mogador sur LPV, mais on avait un peu oublié Cims...(ce qui ne m'avait pas empêché d'en prendre 6 bt )

Il faut quand même rappeler que les Priorato ne sont pas des purs carignan D'où ma question à Jérôme :comment a-t-on apprécié les assemblages par rapport aux vins de cépage ?

avis aux amateurs suisses : on trouve encore du Cims 2001 chez DIVO (Martinet 2001 est épuisé) pour 53 CHFS / env. 35 euros.



Auteur: Jérôme Pérez
Date: 27-07-2004 07:54

Yves, il y avait là José luis Lopez qui nous a bien expliqué que pour Cims, c'était quand même très majoritaire.
Cependant, l'une des questions du débat a été de savoir si le carignan devait être un cépage d'assemblage ou être vinifié seul. La question reste ouverte.

Auteur: Yves Zermatten
Date: 27-07-2004 14:19

Cims, ça doit être 90% carignan et 10% grenache. C'est le grand Priorat qui contient le plus de carignan à ma connaissance.

Jérôme, connais-tu l'assemblage - s'il y a assemblage - de Val Llach ?

Yves Zermatten

Auteur: Jérôme Pérez
Date: 09-08-2004 09:01

la synthèse des résultats est visible ici:

pas mal d'écarts. Synthèse détaillée bientôt.

Auteur: Gilles VIVES
Date: 09-08-2004 09:27

Vall-Llach : 60% carignan, le reste à parts égales entre Merlot et Cabernet .

Auteur: Jérôme Pérez
Date: 09-08-2004 13:09

selon les sources, on parle également de carignan merlot 50/50

Auteur: Gilles VIVES
Date: 09-08-2004 13:25

Au delà des sources,il semble que l'assemblage varie en fonction des millésimes .
La composition annoncée concernait 2001 .

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unfocussed work wine Carignan - The Grape of Contradictions
November 26, 2003

I wrote this essay for my Wine Appreciation: Introduction class. I chose the Carignan grape because of some Ancient Vines Carignan from Cline that I tasted at the California Wine Fair in April 2002. This was the first time I had ever seen a varietal Carignan, and it was amazing. I did a little research and found that Carignan was abundently grown. But then why was it so hard to find as a varietal? Read on to find out what I discovered.

Carignan is a grape of contradictions. It is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world, yet is being pulled up and replaced in vast quantities. At one time it was the source of most of the red wine produced in the world, but those wines were of mediocre quality. It can produce an immense yield of grapes, yet is very susceptible to both downy and powdery mildew and rot. If Carignan is really, as has been charged, the bane of the European wine industry, then why does it exist and where did it come from?

Carignan was first identified in north-eastern Spain, near the town of Cariñena in the province of Aragón. It established a foothold in the Midi, in France, in the twelfth century and remained there, biding its time until the 1960s.
In the 1950s and early 1960s the most widely planted grape in the Languedoc-Roussillon region was Aramon, which produced red wines that were notably low in alcohol, colour, and character. Aramon's most appreciated attribute was not quality but yield: up to 400 hl/ha. In competition for the <i>vin ordinaire</i> market of everyday mass-market wines, Aramon was quickly losing market share to the strong, alcoholic blends that were the product wines imported from Algeria. The late spring frosts in 1956 and 1963 that wiped out a large portion of the Aramon vines were additional nails in the coffin for this not-so-noble grape.

The flow of wine from Algeria to France stopped suddenly with the independence of Algeria in 1962. Farmers, who by this time were being paid by the French government to replace their Aramon vines with something more respectable, found that Carignan nicely filled the gap. Producing yields on par with that of Aramon, Carignan also buds late, making it doubly attractive to farmers worried about spring frosts. By the end of the decade Carignan had become, by far, the most widely planted grape variety in Languedoc-Roussillon. The agricultural census of 1979 reported 207,000 hectares of Carignan growing in France, almost triple the plantings of France's number two grape, Grenache. Carignan ripens late and is highly susceptible to mildew and rot, making it suitable only for regions with a long, hot, and dry growing season. It should come as no surprise, then, that most of the Carignan growing in France in found in Mediterranean climate of Languedoc-Roussillon.

The wine produced from Carignan is very obviously better than that produced from Aramon, but that isn't saying much. High in alcohol, tannins, and acidity, varietal wines made from Carignan have the dubious distinction of having little appeal for early drinking and yet having little aging ability. These wines, when produced, fall into the category of cheap everyday drinking wines. Most often the wine produced from Carignan disappears into blends, with Cinsaut and/or Grenache being its most common companions. The alcohol and astringency of Carignan is a good complements the softer tones of these grapes.

Some Carignan varietal wines of exceptional quality do exist, however. These are invariably the product of very old (often greater than 100 years) vines with greatly reduced yield, and posses aromas of chocolate, dark fruit, and cedar (when oaked) with finely balanced tannins. Passable varietal wines from Carignan are also produced using the process of carbonic maceration, which does a lot (but for most people, not enough) to reduce the harsh tannins and adds the bubblegum/cotton-candy bouquet typical of the process.

Carignan is still grown in Spain, its country of origin, but is far from dominant. It is grown in Catalonia, under the name of Cariñena, where it is blended with Garnacha Tinta (Grenache), Monastrell (Mourvèdre), and Tempranillo. In Rioja it is known by the name of Mazuelo, where it competes with Graciano as a blending agent (usually 10% or less) for Tempranillo.

Carignan can be found in Italy, growing under the name of Carignano, where it is found chiefly on the island of Sardinia. This island grows a great number of grape varieties of Spanish origin, a result of it being governed by Aragón in the early 1700s. In a DOC named Carignano del Sulcis, at the south-west tip of the island, the wines are designated to be at least 85% Carignano. The Carignano vines in this region are quite old, and in the last 30 years the wines produced from these wines have come into their own, proving to be very pleasant food wines. Carignano is also a minor component of some distinguished non-DOC blends. Turriga IGT, for example, is 85% Cannonau, with the remaining 15% made up of Malvasia Nera, Carignano and Bovale Sardo.

Because of its characteristic late ripening and susceptibility to rot, Carignan is found only in hot and dry wine regions. Because of the fact that Carignan grows so well in a hot and dry climate, it can be found in almost all of them. Carignan once dominated the Israel wine industry, and has been planted in Lebanon, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile (where it is actually having a bit of a revival), Mexico, and China. Australia, somehow, seems to have avoided it.

In California Carignane, as it is known an America, has been an important varietal. In the 1970s and 80s, Carignane was most often used as a blend in cheap jug wines and was the state's third most planted red grape varietal. By the mid 1990s, however, the amount of Carignane had shrunk by 60%, being replaced by more respectable varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel. Carignane is still popular with home winemakers, since it is so easy to grow, and has sometimes been called "the growers grape". There are some producers, notably Cline in Contra Costa County, that have 100 year old vines and treat them with the respect that they require. The Cline "Ancient Vines Carignane" (the wine that inspired this paper) is a superb wine with lots of dark fruit and graceful tannins.

It is unlikely that a popular revival of Carignan, even with an "e" or an "o" tacked on the end, will ever occur. Its past popularity has been largely the result of the intersection of politics, social trends, and climatic events. It has a future as an inexpensive blending wine, and some very old vines will continue to be diamonds in the rough in California, Italy, and France. However, Jancis Robinson summed up Carignan nicely when she wrote, in the <i>Oxford Companion to Win "Let some interesting old Carignan vines be treasured but let it not be planted."


Robinson, Jancis, ed. The Oxford Companion to Wine edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Robinson, JancisVines, Grapes and Wines London: Octopus Publishing Group, 1986, rpt. 1999.

Johnson, Hugh, and Robinson, Jancis eds. The World Atlas of Wine edition. London: Octopus Publishing Group, 2001.

LeMar, Jim. Varietal Profiles: Carignan Retrieved from Professional Friends of Wine web site on October 18th, 2003:

D.O.C: Carignano del sulcis. Retrieved from Italian D.O.C. Wines web site on October 18th, 2003:

Barahona, Ana María. El Carignan resucita a manos de Morandé (Carignan revives at hands of Morandé).
Retrieved from the website on October 19th, 2003:
Translation provided by


By Stuart Peskett

The 2003 grape harvest in Israel has seen a shift towards noble varieties, according
to the country’s main winery.
Adam Montefiore, international marketing director at Carmel, which accounts for 50%
of the country’s wine production, says it has encouraged growers to put more
emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, and cut back on
‘workman-like’ grapes Colombard and Carignan, the two most heavily grown grapes
in Israel.
Early reports suggest a harvest of 46,000 tons, about the same as 2002.
He said: ‘Carmel is trying to make wine like a small winery, and we are trying to
incentivise the growers to plant the grapes that we want. The whole idea is to get the
growers to think that they’re growing wine and not grapes.
‘It really does look a good harvest this year. It’s been a smaller harvest and that’s
good for quality. The balance of the white grapes is as good as it can be: a balance
of fruit, acidity, colour, pH, and so on. The reds are showing very well, too.’

Contact : john bojanowski, clos du gravillas, 34360 St. Jean de Minervois
33(0)4 67 38 17 52, mobile : 33 (0)6 07 90 09 67, gravillas @carignans .com