Until this evening, we had never heard of a Carignane. Given its Buena Vista pedigree, though, it felt like an easy selection as my wife and I enjoyed our first weekend together in our new home in the South. Plus, some of our other options are still packed so the choice is as much about accessibility as it is our favorite Sonoma winery.
Right away you get a whiff full of red berries (cherry? strawberry? raspberry?), very Pinot Noir-like in its nose. The 2011 Carignane had that medium-red color of a Pinot as well. We paired this red with steaks (skillet-style but expertly seasoned), potatoes, and broccoli. This Buena Vista was very smooth yet had a very subtle tannin feel to it, perhaps a bit more pronounced than with a Pinot Noir but perhaps because of its age at the time of consumption too.
Here’s what the folks at Buena Vista offer: “This medium-bodied wine opens with a nose of wild strawberries and red raspberries, a touch of anise and a very distinct minerality that rounds out the bright fruit and allows for a long finish. With lighter tannins and nice acidity, hints of dried orange peel and herbs bring a delightful depth to the full-fruit contents.”
I didn’t catch any of the orange hints, and I’m not sure what anise brings to the table here, but the fruity underpinnings do ring through loud and clear. We’re talking limited production run, as Buena Vista only output 250 cases of the Carignane but I’d be a willing consumer of another such bottle.