Carignan is a grape varietal from the Rhone Valley in France, not as well known as Grenache or Syrah, it is usually a lesser ratio of the blends with Mourvedre and Cinsault. The grape is produced as a single varietal wine in some places, but usually more in the new world, especially California and Washington and in parts of Spain where it is often called Mazuelo or Cariñena. In spain, I always find it to show a profound spicy element that integrates with the fruit to allow for a fun opportunity to pair with a diverse selection of foods.
In California and Washington the wines are full bodied, dark berry fruit flavor, and spicy aromas. Less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon, but shows similar traits in body and structure, but usually more extracted fruit flavor. I am going to be in Napa and Sonoma next week, I will post more information and get some photos of Carignan on the vine! Sign up for a free subscription to learn more, and follow our adventures.