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International Carignan Day: 16 awarded wines to celebrate with

Often used as a supporting partner in Mediterranean blends, Carignan is making a name for itself, becoming the lead in red blends or taking full spotlight as a varietal wine. Explore award-winning expressions from Decanter World Wine Awards to discover why this variety is winning us over.

What was once one of the most planted grape varieties in France, Carignan was overtaken by international varieties such as Merlot at the end of the 20th century, but is now enjoying a resurgence.

A grape known by many names including Cariñena, Mazuelo and Samsó in Spain, Carignano in Italy and Carignane in the United States, this red grape variety is characterised by thick-skinned berries and high-yielding vines which can retain acidity, even under the hot Mediterranean sun.

Carignan-based wines have deep colour and express aromas of red fruits like raspberry and spicy notes including cinnamon and pepper. They are often medium-bodied with a high level of austere tannins. Best examples will come from old vines (vieilles vignes) which show more concentration and elegance, either as single varietal wines or blends. Garnacha/Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre are common blending partners.


Scroll down to discover 16 Carignan wines to try from DWWA 2023


It’s likely to find Carignan-based wines coming from Southern France, especially Languedoc-Roussillon, parts of Spain and Sardinia in Italy. It is also grown to some extent in New World countries such as Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

At this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, Spain’s Priorat renditions of this variety greatly impressed the experts with two wines awarded Platinum medals and 97 points. Buil & Giné, Samsó 108 Anys 2018 was described by the judges as juicy and dense with a lovely cacao gloss and Marco Abella, Clos Abella 2019 as polished and classy with a long oaky finish.

Chile also saw success with two Gold medals awarded; Italy and France too with a selection of 90+ point varietal wines and blends to seek out.

Carignan Day is held every year on the last Thursday in October. To celebrate, we highlight 16 awarded Carignan-dominant wines from DWWA 2023 to try., with more to search at awards.decanter.com

International Carignan Day: 16 awarded wines to celebrate with

Chile

Viña Longavi, Soberano, Maule 2020
Gold, 95 points
Billowing florals, damson fruit and black pepper aromas overlay a tangy, lip-smacking palate with laser-focussed tannins and structure and enormous complexity. Deliciously linear and lengthy. Alcohol 13%

Viña Terranoble, Disidente CMG, Maule 2021
Gold, 95 points
Superb garrigue-style herb and sandalwood perfume framed with supple, velvety red fruit invites and intrigues. The depth of flavour, tannin and structure is truly inspiring. Alc 13.7%

Viña Undurraga, T.H. Carignan, Cauquenes, Maule 2021
Silver, 92 points
Intense aromas of ripe plums and cassis on the nose. Creamy palate, complex and impressive, with a long finish. Alc 14.5%

Viña Indómita, Gran Reserva Carignan, Maule 2022
Silver, 90 points
Expressive aromas of spices, fresh aromatic herbs and crunchy red fruit. Very nicely crafted, a lot of wine here. Alc 14%

France

Domaine Saint Antoine, Séduction, Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon 2021
Silver, 92 points
Expressive on the nose, displaying aromas of ripe blackberry, dark cherry and hints of bread crust. Rich and generous. Alc 14.5%

Benjamin Darnault, Calamiac-le-haut, Minervois La Livinière, Languedoc-Roussillon 2019
Silver, 90 points
Classy new oak notes of clove, smoke and ripe dark fruits aromas. Soft and mellow palate, with some firm tannins. Alc 15%

Château Jérémie, Terroir Des Corbières, Corbières, Languedoc-Roussillon 2021
Silver, 90 points
Deep, ripe bramble fruit nose with hints of black olive and savoury spices. Rich concentration, polished texture and well-managed tannins. Alc 14%

Chateau Ollieux Romanis, Atal Sia, Corbières-Boutenac, Languedoc-Roussillon 2021
Silver, 90 points
Sweet vanilla, accompanied by ripe cherries and damson, slight hints of juniper and liquorice. A really smooth and elegant palate. Alc 14%

Italy

Siddùra, Èstru Carignano, Isola dei Nuraghi, Sardinia 2021
Silver, 90 points
Expressive nose showing aromas of blackcurrants, black cherries, cloves, black pepper and minty undertones. Lively and fresh, showing energy and tension. Alc 14%

Spain

Buil & Giné, Samsó 108 Anys, Priorat 2018
Platinum. 97 points
Rich, ripe and opulent with black fruit, aromatic blossom, liquorice and pepper notes. Juicy and dense in the mouth with an impressive texture and lovely cacao gloss which flows nicely to the long complex finish. Alc 15%

Marco Abella, Clos Abella, Priorat 2019
Platinum, 97 points
Wild blackberry, mulberry and bitter chocolate with an enticing minty, garrigue note. Very polished and classy with subtle tannins and a long oaky finish. A pleasure rather than a philosophical proposal, as other more ambitious Priorat wines are. Alc 14.5%

Rolland & Galarreta, Clos D’en Ferran, Priorat 2019
Gold, 96 points
Complex nutmeg, liquorice, blueberry jam and cream nose. Layers of ripe tannins and intense, succulent, black fruit with overtones of chocolate and mocha. The wine lingers on the finish with fruity undertones. Oustanding. Alc 15%

Sandra Doix, Marla Vi De Paratge Carinyenes, Priorat 2019
Gold, 95 points
Complex mineral, blackberry and graphite nose. The ripe, black fruit palate is amazingly refined, concentrated, complex and multi-layered. An unforgettable experience, a warm, spicy wine that caresses you. So long and unique. Alc 14.5%

Altavins Viticultors, Vinerel·Les Carinyena, Terra Alta 2019
Silver, 92 points
Expressive forest fruit and wild berry aromas, followed by a ripe, succulent palate, powdery tannins and fine length. Alc 14.5%

Costers Del Priorat, Clos Cypres, Priorat 2019
Silver, 92 points
Beautiful purity of intense blackberry fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, rich and ripe. Cashmere fruit wraps around the ripe tannic structure. Super drinking! Alc 14.5%

Franck Massard, Cepas Viejas 2018
Silver, 91 points
Floral, red fruit and herbal aromas. Ripe and textured with fresh acidity, polished tannins and savoury, meaty characters. Good value for money. Alc 15%


Search all DWWA 2023 results


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