A small love affair with Carignan…(11/12/14)


Having fallen in love with Pedro Parra’s Clos des Fous Tocao 2012* a couple of months ago (a blend of very old vine Malbec and Carignan from Bio Bio in the far south of Chile, described by Eric Asimov to be “the best Chilean wine I have tasted so far”, I found myself falling for another Carignan last weekend, this time from France’s Valle de Paradis IGP, an area in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees. 

The Clos des CamuzeillesLes Camuzeilles’ Carignan 2008 is sold by Ginsberg&Chan in HK and is a really quite delicious, not to mention, great value wine (just HK$160). Scented and fresh with lovely dark berry fruit character, it captivated me more than any other wine I tasted at WineHK last weekend, and I tasted a fair few!

Described in Jancis Robinson’s Oxford Companion as a wine that “is high in everything – acidity, tannins, colour, bitterness – but finesse and charm”, I can’t help feeling that Carignan gets a pretty raw deal in terms of its association, or lack of it, for quality wines. I’m far from an expert I’ll admit, but with these two Carignans in mind I’m now certainly keen to try more. I’ll make sure I keep you in the loop when I do!

*The Clos des Fous Tocao will be available to buy in HK early next year through Victoria Wines

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