Dogwood & Thistle Carignan Mendocino 2020
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Vineyard notes: From the second any visitor sets foot on the Testa vineyard, they know they are in a very special place, and working with the Testa family for our fourth vintage making this wine is a dream for us. The Testa family has been farming this land in Comptche, California since 1912, and established their own winery in 2010. The business is currently run by the 4th 5th and 6th generations of the family, and is located right on 101 in Mendocino. They also grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Barbera, Grenache and Charbono. The old vines are bush-style with thick trunks and shady canopies, and sit in dusty soil that is perfect for cultivating these grapes.
Winemaking techniques: Sandy first worked with Carignan in Maury, in the South of France, in 2004, and he has been wanting to do it again ever since. For this wine he used open topped fermentation and very gentle cap management to keep primary fruit characteristics. The fruit came in at only 23.6 degrees brix, which is marginally riper than previous vintages, making this wine fuller bodied with a tighter grip.
Tasting notes: This wine is a rich garnet color, opens with a perfumed nose of smashed blueberries, earth, and cigar box. There is a medium body with bright, jammy fruit when the wine enters your mouth which unfolds into a nice weight on the palate, leading into darker, plummy fruit notes and some nice pepper. The finish lingers and leaves you wanting more. We will be pairing this wine with homemade pizza, Friday night grilling, beef stew, and variations on classic risottos in our household.