Ricetti Carignan 2019
Carignan was harvested by hand, kept whole-cluster, and fermented in an open-top stainless steel tank. A few bins of grapes were foot tread to encourage the onset of fermentation, while the remaining majority of the whole-clusters were loaded on top. During early stages of fermentation, gentle body punch-downs and short pump-overs were used in order to limit extraction. We pressed the Ricetti Carignan just prior to reaching dryness, ensuring that the tannin extracted would lean toward the delicate, softer expression of the varietal as the wine finished fermentation in barrel. The wine spent a full 24 months in neutral French oak barrels before final blending and bottling.
Carignan from Ricetti Vineyard, Mendocino County; planted in 1948; certified organic; dry farmed on gravelly loam.
Compared to the wild, earthy flavors of Venturi, Ricetti Carignan invites us to dance in a more delicate dimension. Smells like stepping into a sauna, crumbling dried rose petals, and breaths of dry mountain air. A silky body offers a taste of cinnamon and sunny red currant.
Vibrant and age-worthy, this rare bird won’t make an appearance in our portfolio again until 2023.
This is a special wine we don’t make every year. While the Venturi Vineyard Carignan reminds me of Gamay, the Ricetti Vineyard Carignan reminds me of Pinot noir. The Ricetti Carignan vines are large, head-trained, 73 year-old vines, and the vineyard resembles a small forest, with shoots reaching far overhead. It’s a vineyard where you can find shade underneath the canopy, as if you were sitting below a miniaturized old oak. Tom and Pamela Ricetti are serious about their winter compost application, so not only is the canopy forest-like, but the rich topsoil undervine reminds me of the spongy duff of a forest floor.
Perhaps a coincidence, but the 2019 Ricetti Carignan wine has this soft forest floor characteristic woven into its profile. The 2019 Ricetti Carignan was harvested in late fall, on a still, foggy morning. While the delicacy of this vintage reminds me of Burgundy, the finish of this wine is dry and firmly states “I’m a Californian old-vine Carignan”.
Production: 158 cases
12% alcohol. Unfined. Unfiltered. At bottling (August 2021): free SO2 5 mg/L, total SO2 32 mg/L. 0.4 g/L residual sugar.
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