2015 Vinca Minor Carignan
Region: Redwood Valley < Mendocino < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, whole cluster press, unfined/unfiltered; 10ppm SO2 added
Winemaker: Jason Charles
This quote from natural wine proponent and critic Alice Feiring pretty much sums up Jason’s Carignan: “If only California would wake up to the Carignan truth for their region. They should worship the grape. This wine is one reason why. stem inclusion, iron edge, freshness but sun. Only 100 cases of it but this, my friends, is a wine.” SF resident Jason Charles caught the wine bug waiting tables post-college in New York City restaurants. After working in vineyards in Saint Emilion in Bordeaux and the Sonoma Coast, he started the Vinca Minor label to “explore the intersection between farmer, winemaker and artist.” He farms organically, and makes the wines as naturally as possible, always working with indigenous yeast, never filtering or fining, and adding a minuscule amount of SO2 only at bottling. Jason started last year with a dry-farmed plot of very old Carignan vines in Redwood Valley, which he presses whole cluster and basically leaves alone until he bottles by gravity into recycled American bottles. This wine is bold and structured yet balanced, with notes of spice, flowers, and minerals and velvety tannins. Will age for 10+ years, but gorgeous now.