Domaine de Fontsainte Rouge Corbieres from Kermit Lynch
A blend of 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir and 10% Syrah aged in French oak barrels. Grown on soil where ancient Romans created a domain around thermal springs. Artifacts that adorn their wine, like the bronze coin bearing the head of Marcus Agrippa (c. 25AD), attest Fontsainte’s ancient origins. This wine has a smoky scent, round buttery mouthfeel, concentrated fresh red and blackberry flavors with developing cocoa and licorice notes, and a long finish of delicate tannins. It is ideal served with lamb, but lovely with any earthy dish.
Las Dos Marías Blanco from Spain
100% Verdejo grown in a continental climate on trellised vines in soil predominantly of clay with granitic and shale origins and hand harvested. Look for flavors of stone fruit, almonds and notes of citrus peel. This white wine is full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and a long, fresh finish. Serve with your favorite sea foods, salads, creamy cheeses or—why not?—as an aperitif.
Mont Gravet Carignan from Vieilles Vignes
Produced from old Carignan vines high in the hills of southwest France, “It tastes of terroir… an earthy and fruity wine, with a welcoming, almost figgy aroma, acidity that sits nicely between the fruit and the earthiness, and just enough tannins to do the job,” says The Wine Curmudgeon. Expect aromas of blackberry and fig, a soft mouthfeel and a long fruit finish. This Carignan would be great with barbecue or any grilled meats and pairs beautifully with any cheese. Turns out, it’s perfect with Stonewall Kitchen’s Mama’s Italian Wedding Soup on a cool evening too.
Tessellae Carignan Vieilles Vignes
This 100% Carignan comes from 70-year-old vines and the schist soils of Maury and Les Aspres, scores 94 points on Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and is an “off-the-charts value”. It has notes of astringent green herbs and peppery spice with a deep mineral base and black raspberry flavors, and it finishes with tones of bittersweet chocolate. It is both food-friendly and diverse. What do you want to pair it with?
Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012
Described as between blackcurrant and tapenade, this dense, ruby-colored wine reveals deep and sweet ripe fruits with a strong mineral finish with dense tannins reminiscent of black olives. Domaine de la Janasse has quickly become one of the superstar estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Made from equal parts Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan and aged one year in casks. Serve within ten years. Wonderful with roasted meats and particularly lamb chops.