Visit the Winery
Tasting Room Open Daily
11am - 4:30pm
4791 Dry Creek Rd. Healdsburg, CA
Carignane is an old workhorse varietal in California, sharing a supporting role (much like Petite Sirah) in the old “mixed black” vineyard field blends dominated by Zinfandel. Its specific contribution to the mix was ample tannin, color, and a bright acidity in even warm growing regions. It originated in Spain, where it is known as Monastrell , and at one time was widely planted in France and elsewhere. Like any indiscriminately-planted, over-cropped varietal, it fell out of favor due to the resulting ocean of dilute and nondescript wine. But old vines in the right place, with the right attention, can produce some exceptional wines. Andrew Forchini’s Carignane vines, located a couple hundred yards north of Amphora, are a prime example. Rick’s second vintage from this vineyard shows a jammy red currant fruit character with hints of black licorice and celery root, quite unlike any of the other varietals on the Amphora roster. It cries out for good food, and while we’re still seeking the ultimate pairing, pasta con le sarde is a good bet.