Venturi Carignan 2019 Long Élevage
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. After 11 days, the fermenting juice was racked and returned back to the tank (délestage) and a seal was placed on the tank to begin an extended maceration.
After an additional 19 days, the tank was drained and pressed, and the wine was racked to neutral oak barrels to age. The initial release of 2019 Venturi Carignan was kept in barrel for 9 months before racking and final blending; for the extended elevage series, we selected 6 barrels to continue to age for 18 months in total in neutral French oak barrels before bottling.
Venturi Vineyard is in Mendocino County; planted in 1948; dry farmed; organic.
Vivacious aromas of dried earth, California chaparral, and raspberry jam smeared on a stone and left to dry in the sun. Our Carignan Long Élevage spent 2.5 years in barrel. It maintains Venturi Vineyards distinct dusty tannins, but additional aging gave this wine a richer and more savory structure. We liken this to a California version of a cru Beaujolais: easy drinking and food-friendly, with great acidity.
This wine spent 18 months in barrel. That’s a really long time. This careful consideration of a California heritage grape offers a fresh perspective on the evolution of flavor that occurs in barrel.
Out of all the wines I make, this is the one I reach for most. I’m a sucker for medium bodied savory reds! The 73 year-old Carignan block we work with is on a particularly stoney parcel as it lies on former Russian Riverbed. These parcel characteristics, along with a long, cool fermentation result in a Carignan much lighter bodied than most. This wine is particularly reflective of the vineyard site with its dusty tannins, and aromas of California chaparral and river stones. We make this in a fairly unique way with a month-long extended maceration on the stems and skins before pressing it.
I’ve been making this wine since 2014 and as I’ve opened older bottles I’ve noticed that the fruity aromas of the wine actually build over time—contrary to what most wines do. I wanted to let you all experience this wine with a bit more age, so we held a portion of the 2019 vintage back in barrel for an additional year and bottled this small amount separately for you to enjoy.
Production: 143 cases
12% alcohol. Unfined. Unfiltered. At bottling (February 2021): free SO2 10 mg/L, total SO2 46 mg/L. 0.4 g/L residual sugar.
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