2013ridgecarignane2013 Ridge Vineyards, Carignane, Buchignani Ranch, Sonoma County.
The hillside old vine Carignane Buchignani Ranch from Ridge is a lovely and juicy deeply purple wine that smacks of old school Italian style California red with a hint of rustic charm and flowing with fruit and spicy goodness. The Ridge Vineyards Carignane Buchignani Ranch is a limited club and tasting room bottling, only 46 barrels were made in 2013, it was native yeast fermented, in small lots, with very low sulphur and aged in used barrels mostly, all American seasoned oak, and is one of the wines I also ask about when visiting Ridge at Lytton Springs and has become a particular obsession. While not as complex as the top Zin blends, this very dark and vibrant Carignane is impressive just the same and offers an intriguing array of layers with vivid loganberry, black raspberry, minty blueberry and tree picked plum fruits along with mineral notes, wild flowers, cedar, wild herbs, earthy/stony elements, peppery/flinty spices and a touch of cinnamon and dusty vanilla. This palate is round and full bodied, but there is lots of lift from natural acidity and the tannins are ripe and succulent though with just enough bite to let you know this red has a spine of structure. Ridge’s 2013 Carignane Buchignani Ranch is a great example of varietal and stylish, not over done, winemaking, and it goes great with many cuisine choices, it has enough up front fruit to handle BBQ, spicy Asian fare and just about anything else, I love this stuff! It’s great to see Carignan, the historic grape of Corbieres, getting it’s place back in California and being made into serious wine as the primary grape, you should also look for Carignan(e) wines by Pax, Signal Ridge Vineyard, Ryme Cellars, Broc and Hobo Wine Company’s Folk Machine Parts & Labor red, all of which show this grape in a brilliant way. Be sure to either join Ridge’s wine club to get this wine and other limited offerings, or beg for a few bottles at the tasting room, like I do!
($36 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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