Tasting Notes: Carignans

By David Rosengarten

Updated on January 13, 2021

More carignans (and carignan blends) are becoming available in the U.S. all the time. Of the many fine bottles I've tasted from Languedoc-Roussillon, the ten below are my favorites.

Domaine Leon Barral 2006 (AOC Faugeres; $24). Redolent of dried red fruits with hints of herbs and citrus.

Domaine Rimbert, Les Travers de Marceau 2008 (AOC St-Chinian; $15). Bouncy with berry and watermelon fruit from a high proportion of carignan.

Domaine des 2 Ânes, Fontanilles 2006 (AOC Corbieres; $16). A carignan-grenache-syrah blend, beautifully balanced, with red fruit and plum flavors.

Clos du Gravillas, Lo Vielh Carignan 2005 ($19). Extremely pretty, perfectly balanced, with hints of licorice, clove, and leather.

Domaine de Fontsainte, La Demoiselle 2007 (AOC Corbieres; $16). This elegant and fruity blend has notes of berries and celery seed, and a firm backbone.

Maxime Magnon, Campagnes 2008 (AOC Corbieres; $26). This carignan-grenache noir-syrah blend smells like a fruity white—until rose, lavender, and pine nut kick in. Zappy and refreshing.

Domaine Rimbert, Le Mas au Schiste 2008 (AOC St-Chinian; $15). Made from equal parts carignan, syrah, and grenache, with a gorgeous cherry and leather nose.

Domaine Anne Gros/Jean-Paul Tollot, Les Carretals 2008 (AOC Minervois; $60). Dark purple, with a spicy-coffee and lilac nose. Succulent, full, delicious.

Domaine Massamier La Mignarde, Expression Carignan 2006 ($21). A supple beauty of 100 percent carignan that demonstrates the best qualities of the grape.

Domaine des 2 Ânes, Premiers Pas 2007 (AOC Corbieres; $14). A young, rustic, mostly carignan wine filled with a kind of earthy majesty.

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