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2017 Sébastien Carignan

2017 Sébastien Carignan

Region: Redwood Valley < Mendocino Co. < CA

Grape: Carignan

Vineyard/cellar stats: organic (uncertified) farming; dry farmed 88
year old vineyard tended by 5th generation growers Testa family; whole
berry, spontaneous fermentation, aged in older oak barrels, minimal
SO2 addition before bottling. 12.7% ABV; 124 cases

Winemaker: Sébastien Pochan

Sébastien Pochan is originally from the Languedoc region of Southern
France and has been making wine for almost 3 decades. He moved to
Healdsburg in 1995, worked at a few different wineries both in Napa
and Sonoma counties. He was the winemaker at (our friends) Unti
Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley for 14 years and more recently has been
in charge of the wine program at the organic/uber progressive Front
Porch Farm.  During the slower winter and spring months, he tries to
get better at playing the accordion and enjoys making wood furniture,
and also started his own wine project, about which he says, “I started
this as a way to explore other varieties and vineyards beyond my day
job. Finding these little gems, hidden in plain sight throughout
Sonoma and Mendocino counties, has refreshed my passion for making
wine. The two aspects I value most in a wine are purity and balance.
To me, achieving that magic duo means preserving acidity and
brightness by picking judiciously (a conveniently vague adjective!),
letting the fermentation happen spontaneously, and avoiding the
temptation of manipulation or oak flavoring. In the past, blending has
been my favorite tool to impart my sensibility to a wine, so not being
able to do that on a single vineyard bottling has certainly been a
humbling and somehow freeing experience.”

We're huge fans of his varietal bottling of Carignan from the famed
Testa vineyard in Mendo County's Redwood Valley.  The old vines and
stellar terroir shine here in this light, juicy, slightly rustic red
that screams Mendocino County terroir - you can practically taste the
old, soulful redwood trees in this bottle. Earthy with tart, dusty red
fruit, a bit of spice and smooth tannins, this wine is juicy on the
front and dry on the back. An elegant, old-school wine for wintry
meals and fireside sipping.

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