2015 The Princess & The Peasant, Carignan, Poor Ranch Vineyard, Mendocino County.
The Poor Ranch Carignan 2015 by Stephanie Rivin, winemaker of Signal Ridge Vineyard, under her Princess & Peasant label is made from 74 year old vines and shows rich detail and ripe juiciness making for an interesting and flavorful wine of joyous California fruit as well as playing homage to the wines of Corbieres. The vintage gave unique concentration and sweet tannins, the tiny berries old these old vines made for a high skin to juicy ratio which adds to the dark nature of this Carignan, while a talented touch in the crafting of this red allows it to be forward and lush, while also delivering balance and graceful depth. Rivin’s Carignan joins a host of other great Carignan based wines that have come out in recent years like Broc Cellars, Pax and Skylark as well as classics like Ridge, and Carignan or Carignane is a grape that has seen a world wide revival, especially in it’s historical sweet spot of Corbieres in France’s Languedoc with the wines of Maxim Magnon and Domaine de Fontsainte standing out in particular! The Princess & The Peasant Poor Ranch Carignan starts with a touch of floral/spicy incense and black fruit and prunes leading to a lively palate of fresh crushed blackberry, sweet black cherry, tangy currant and pomegranate fruits along with mineral/flint, earth, minty notes and wild briar spices. At 13.4% this is not a flabby wine, but medium full on the palate with a silky round mouth feel, while still vibrant and fresh, best to serve slightly chilled so it highlights it’s dry/crisp acidity and especially with hard cheeses, BBQ and Asian/Spicy dishes. Drink this unfined and unfiltered Carignan over the next 2 or 3 years, I love it’s youthful expression, openness and vitality, I highly recommend this wine as well The Princess & The Peasant Pinot Noir, all these new releases from Mendocino’s Signal Ridge Vineyard are seriously fun offerings.
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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