100% Hillside Old Vine Carignane
95 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
92 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Black cherry with tobacco leaf notes on the nose, palate of fig jam, refreshing acidity and hint of cocoa on the finish. JO (12/20)
Late spring rains delayed budbreak, however the vines ripened quickly in the summer heat. We picked all five blocks of the old vine carignane in early September. After a natural yeast fermentation, we chose the Back Block for its concentrated dark fruit and the Sidehill for its elegant acidity. Aging in well-tempered American oak for eleven months has integrated the fine-grained tannins. Enjoyable as a young wine, this exemplary carignane will evolve over another six years.
Stan Buchignani’s ranch is located on Dutcher Creek Road, in the hills on the far western edge of the Alexander Valley appellation. Stan’s grandfather, Dominico Cerruti, first planted a five acre block in 1927. His father, Dino, added seven acres in the 1940s and planted the last in the early 1950s. The vineyard’s climate bears a strong resemblance to that of upper Dry Creek Valley three miles to the south, where days are quite warm. Fog, which tends to hang low in the valley, burns off sooner in the hills. Carignane from the Buchignani Ranch is complex, its fine structure much like that of a field-blend zinfandel.
Rainfall: 57.5 inches (above normal)
Weather: Total rainfall for the season was almost double our usual amounts. The vines responded with bountiful yields of great quality.
Harvest Date: 9 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.8˚
TA: 6.44 g/L
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentations; pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (75% three years-old and 25% five years-old).
Aging: Eleven months in barrel
Hand-harvested, sustainably grown grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 70 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
OwenBargreen.com: 95 Points “The 2019 ‘Buchignani Ranch’ Carignane is sourced from very old vines. The heady aromatics impress with Earl Grey tea, black currant jelly and smoky undertones that all take shape in the glass. The palate is intense and well-balanced with heady dark and red fruits that collide with minerals and scorched earthy tones. This wine is truly in its own category.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2021)
Blue Lifestyle: 92 Points “Ripe berry nose, silky, juicy with boysenberry and cassis, medium weight and nice balance.” -Anthony Dias Blue (May 2021)
Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points “Bold black-fruit flavors are wrapped in moderate tannins and lightly spiced with cinnamon and butter in this full-bodied, well-concentrated and silky-textured wine.” -Jim Gordon (September 2021)
Average Rating: 90.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 18
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