Tasting Notes: Seghesio Old Vine Carignane

Wine and cheese. Is there a more famous, and perfect, pairing? I think not. When I saw that Weekly Tasting put together a box for wines to pair with cheese, I had to order it. My favorite duo! After a weekend back in Texas celebrating the marriage of one of my best friends, I knew a cheese plate was the perfect way to top of the weekend. I read over the information cards that accompany their boxes to find which one would pair well with a few cheeses, and this Carignane was the winner! 

The Facts

*This bottle came in my "Cheese & Wine: The Perfect Pair" pack, which is four wines for $69.99 including shipping. If you are interested in trying it for yourself, please contact Weekly Tasting to see if there are any packs still available for purchase. Also, I do know that Total Wine carries their Zinfandel, so it may be worth it to ask if they can order the Carignane for you.

Eyes: It's that beautiful magenta color that I love so dearly. Not quite purple, but also not a true red. Looks like it's going to be tasty! (Is that a thing? I think it's a thing for me. I guess I should admit that I judge books by their cover...)

Nose: Smells great! Definitely get a lot of ripe red fruit, especially raspberry. There's also a hint of spice and something earthy. Maybe the earthiness reminds me a bit of leather? Regardless, it smells like it will have some depth to it, but with the fruit being front and center.

Mouth: The ripe fruit on the nose comes through as a little more jammy on the palette, but not so jammy that it tastes overdone. There were mild tannins and a slight burn I usually want to call spice, but that's probably the alcohol. This wine has a good balance to it to keep it interesting. Nothing is worse than a jammy and flabby wine! 

Thoughts: I think this is my favorite wine from Weekly Tasting yet. There was a Quo Grenache they had that was also excellent, but the Carignane takes the cake. It also paired perfectly with the Robusto (best cheese EVER, you can find it at Whole Foods) and the Stilton blue we purchased. This pack was selected by Laura Maniec, and her information card suggested those types of cheeses. She was SO right! YUM! As I mentioned above, I haven't found this wine elsewhere yet, but I am definitely going to be on the lookout! Also, I plan to try out their Zinfandel which is available at Total Wine.

Story: Seghesio has been in Sonoma for over 120 years! The vineyard was started in 1895 when Edoardo Seghesio, an Italian immigrant, planted some Zinfandel vines. While many wineries went to ruin, Seghesio was one of the few vineyards to survive Prohibition. Seghesio was a family owned operation until it became part of the Crimson Wine Group in 2011. Ted Seghesio, 4th generation, is still the winemaker.

What is Carignane? Carignane, or more commonly spelled as Carignan and pronounced care-in-yen, is a grape usually used in blending and is mostly grown in Southern France. You can read Wine Folly's full write-up on Carignan here, but the grape is making a comeback and is typically a good value. If you like Merlot, Zinfandel, or Syrah/Grenache blends, definitely check out wines made from this grape!

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Weekly Tasting Box: You Say Grenache, I Say Garnacha

Last week, I got my first order of Weekly Tasting. For those who have not heard of it, Weekly Tasting is a new concept where a box of four wines with a theme is curated by one of two sommeliers, Elizabeth Schneider of Wine For Normal People and Laura Maniec, owner of Corkbuzz. The boxes are $69.99, including shipping, and each box comes with 4 wines, tasting note cards with a recipe suggestion, and a short video that has the sommelier going through a tasting of each wine.  This week's theme, if you can't tell from the title, is Grenache! Grenache, or Garnacha in Spain, is a new favorite grape of mine, so I was super excited to put in my order.

Weekly Tasting

I busted into the box like it was Christmas morning. The box was well packaged, with the nice cardboard bottle holders AND laminated note cards! I've always wanted to try one of those subscription things where you get a fun box of goodies full of things you don't need, but this is even better! Wine shipped to my door + notes so I can learn + no subscription fee = genius.

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The note cards are well done, with all of the basic information you would want to know about the bottle as well as a blurb from the sommelier (in this case Elizabeth) with her thoughts. In this box, there were two from Côtes du Rhône in France and two from Spain. I wanted to try them all immediately, and luckily, with our Coravin, I could! One was a screwtop, so we opened that bottle for dinner, but for the other three, I used the Coravin to pour a small taste. I was amazed to see how different they all were from each other despite being made (at least the majority**) from Grenache. From fruit forward to smokey to earthy to hints of leather, these wines showed it all!

**Remember from my previous France post that wines from Côtes du Rhône are Grenache based with some Syrah and Mourvedre thrown in. There are other grapes that can be included, but this blend has been nicknamed "GSM" for obvious reasons. 

Grenache Wine Flight

Overall, I think Weekly Tasting is a great idea. Where else can you find a hand selected box of four wines for less than $20/bottle that have detailed notes about each one?! I know that Elizabeth and Laura have both spent a lot of time tasting through hundreds of bottles to select these groupings, and I think the hard work showed in my first box!

The box available to order this week is from the French region of Bordeaux, which is famous for being very expensive. Wines from Bordeaux are usually blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, although Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot are also allowed varities. Wines from France are typically a bit "earthier" than wines from USA (ex: Napa Valley Cab), but if you typically like Cab or Merlot, I encourage you to give Weekly Tasting a try!