Mendocino Carignan and Red Recommendations?

My very first experiences with Carignan-based wines, as well as many Zins, were from sources in Mendocino.

I actively avoided the region in recent searches for great Carignan wines, based on a couple of unpleasant pours. The Idlewild 2013 “Testa Vineyard” Carignan changed all that.

I read this article last week, and the sentiment that “one cannot be promising forever” comes to mind.

“The Vineyards Of Redwood Valley”

by Darren Delmore
August 8, 2012

Mendocino County contains many older plantings of Zinfandel, Carignan, and other heritage varieties. However, I am a little apprehensive as to which producers to seek out.

I would appreciate any advice/guidance on which vineyards and/or wineries you think deliver solid Zinfandel, Carignan, Field Blend, etc, wines from the Mendocino County.

Carignan- The Kerrigans from Forlorn Hope is utterly fantastic. Loop is making a few Carignan blends, I believe all from Mendocino.

Counoise from Broc Cellars is all Eaglepoint ranch and is a show stopper. Bends the mind on what can be done with the grape.

Bedrock does a Syrah from Alder Springs, I believe Hardy has a Mourvèdre from there as well, but don’t quote me on that. He also rolled out a Chardonnay, but you are looking for reds.

Rhys has made a few wines from Alder Springs under the Alesia label.

Loop? I can’t find anything on this one…

I re-tasted the 2013 Calder Mendocino Carignan the other day and that’s VERY solid.

I have been looking at that wine and debating whether to buy it or not.

I am a fan of Post and Vine which is a field blend (30% Carignane) from Testa Vineyard. It is made by Rebekah Wineburg who is the winemaker at Quintessa. The 2013 was recently released and it is very very good.

I second Anthony’s recommendation of Forlorn Hope’s The Kerrigans. Though I find Matt’s Alvarelhão even more compelling.

Bryan Harrington has been making Carignane from Mendocino for the past 5-6 years, from a small vineyard called Lover’s Lane just north of Ukiah. The vines were planted in the early 1930s. The past couple of vintages we’ve been making this wine with no added sulfites, under Bryan’s Terrane label. I think the 2014 is sold out but the 2015 should be released sometime this year.

Lover’s Lane Vineyard

We also made a Zin-based field blend from an old vineyard in the Mendocino Ridge AVA last year and will probably make it again this year. Got a tiny yield last year, hoping for more this time. It was fun going through the bins from the vineyard and seeing many obviously different grape varieties, including at least two white varieties. This wine should also be released sometime this year.

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Drew -

Ryme Cellars produces an old vine Carignane, also from the Testa Vineyard. I have not yet tasted the current release (I will tomorrow!), but last year’s release was terrific - clean, beautifully balanced, great fruit and structure for at least mid term aging.

Was that Mendocino too? Fully agree- that wine was amazing.

I’m pretty sure Porter Creek’s Carignane is from an old vine vineyard somewhere in the Ukiah Valley area.

Vinca Minor makes one off of Rosewood Vineyard in Redwood Valley (where we also source PS and Mourvèdre. I thought the '13 was excellent).

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+1 really interesting expression of carignane, beautifully detailed and precise

Buying from:

The Princess & the Peasant: small operation in Mendocino, sold out of the Signal Ridge Tasting Room (also getting a bottle of the SR Zin).

Thanks man!

Ruth Lewandowski makes a Carignan, or Carignan Blend from Testa vineyard which is awesome…

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I would agree with others here, Calder Carignan and Vinca Minor Carignan or Zinfandel are great options. Also I will try almost anything from almost any producer with Alder Springs on the label.

I found the Reds out of that area to be quite interesting. To me, many of them speak more of the winemakers what they’re trying to achieve rather than perhaps what the grapes are offering?

For instance, with the aldersprings stuff, I found some bigger, bolder, more robust wines from winemaker who make wine and that style. I’ve also found other examples that are much more rustic and, to me, show off the varieties more clearly.

But perhaps that’s just me?

I would argue, Larry, that AlderSprings is not really MendocinoCnty, at least as we know it. Even though it’s located within the
boundaries of MendoCnty. The soils/terroir/climate there at AS is dramatically different from anyplace else in MendoCnty.

It’s 140 acres there are lots of soils/terroir/climate, are they all different then the rest of Mendocino witch west to east has lots of soils/terroir/climates?