2021 Sandy Lane Carignane

2021 Sandy Lane Carignane

Wine Information

100% Carignane

96 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
93 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous
93 PointsWine & Spirits




Sandy Lane


Contra Costa County

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Nose of cherry, black raspberry, black tea and tobacco leaf. Medium-bodied with soft tannins, boysenberry, blackberry and savory notes of white pepper and forest floor. SR (1/23)

Vintage Notes

Planted in the 1890’s, the Sandy Lane vineyard is head-trained, dry farmed, and grown in pure sand. Incredibly, the vines are own-rooted, that is, they are not grafted on a resistant rootstock as are virtually all wine grape vines in the world. Daily afternoon winds cool the vines and preserve their balanced acidity. This excellent old-vine carignane can be enjoyed now and will continue to develop over the next six years. SR (1/23)


Ridge has a long history producing wine from this Spanish grape variety. This is our first vintage of carignane from Sandy Lane, located in Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco. These 130-plus-year-old vines are grown in deep, sandy soil on the bank of the Sacramento River. They are own-rooted, head-trained and dry-farmed, which is a viticultural anomaly, as most vines throughout the world are grafted onto resistant rootstock. The sandy soil protected these vines from phylloxera, creating an uninhabitable environment for the root louse.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 5 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: The summer was hot and dry with windy afternoons.


Harvest Date: 18 August
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9˚
TA: 6.36 g/L
pH: 3.69
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation; 100% submerged cap; pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (9% new,11% one year old, 50% four years old, and 30% five+ years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel

Sandy Lane grapes, hand-harvested; de-stemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur (35ppm at crush, 131ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


OwenBargreen.com: 96 Points “One of the historic sites in the Contra Costa County, the Sandy Lane Vineyard was planted all the way back in the 1890’s, as this site is a head-trained, dry farmed location grown in pure sand. Very inky in the glass, this shows off intense black florals and Asian spices on the nose alongside dark currants and stony undertones. The palate is wonderfully terroir-driven with its salty profile. Power and finesse drive this black-fruit driven beauty. Seamless throughout the drinking experience, this is quite simply a total stunner that may live on past twenty years. Drink 2024-2040.” -Owen Bargreen (October 2023)

Vinous: 93 Points “The 2021 Carignane Sandy Lane is supple, juicy and wonderfully delicious. All of the exuberance of Contra Costa County comes through in a racy, forward Carignagne packed with bright red/purplish fruit. Spice, tobacco and dried flowers add nuance, punctuated by bright saline notes that lend energy as well as complexity. The 2021 is such an inviting wine.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2023)

Wine & Spirits: 93 Points “From an own-rooted vineyard with plantings going back to the 1890s, this wine has the reserve, composure and assuredness that carignane flaunts when it’s got some vine age. It leads with red-cherry and red-berry aromas, giving way to a barbecue-sauce sweetness. The flavors deepen from luscious strawberry to dark blue plum, with classic carignane briar and spice, and fruit-skin giving a wild berry grip.” -P.J.C. (March 2024)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 91.1

No. of Tasting Notes: 17

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Food Pairings

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