Domo Arigato

Thin bright clear ruby with a crisp clear edge. A bit of oak plays with the mild funk. Oak and big classic ripe Lodi fruit.  Pretty violet, effusive late-summer Natal Plum and dark soy sauce-laden BBQ, all wrapped around blackberry jam smeared on wet sidewalk.

As simple as Carignane is historically intended to be, it rarely is anymore.  At once the MOST-PLANTED grape in both Rhone and France-Sud, and I’m almost positive for quite a few decades it was most-planted variety in California.  It was a filler, nothing more.  While its popularity has waned for stretching the masses, large chunks of it in heavy-production areas like Paso Robles and Lodi have resulted in blocks of VERY OLD vines being available to vintners who want to do something interesting.  Carignane was the first wine I made.  There was a small plot of huge head-trained vines around the corner in Sacramento when I decided to scratch the wine-making itch almost 20 years ago.  It has always held a special place in my heart, and I jump at the chance to try new interpretations.

In the mouth, a blistering acid-tinged fruit basket attacks you.  Tannins curl in on the down-beat, but they are no match for this ridiculous fruit.  Tart cherry and cranberry pack the mouth, and the afore-mentioned petrichor grabs citrus-peel handholds at every turn.  Crazy young–green and bitter tannin on FIRE–this thing already drinks fabulously and will only settle down into unabashed splendor with a little age.

A beautifully-made wine.  Rich and balanced with all the things old-world wine lover looks for, enough referential impact to make California-snob sit up straight, and just flat-out YUMMY enough to make Joe Blow #winelover pour a second glass.  I know if I were running the corkscrew at a party, this one would be behind the bar, saved for people who KNOW great wine.  This is my first wine from these people, but I can tell you right now: they are doing it RIGHT.

2015 MARKUS WINE CO. ‘Domo’ Carignane/PS/SY 75/15/10 Lodi 13.8

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