Chateaux L'Orangerie de Carignan is named after a castle built in 1452 in the city of the same name. It sits on the right bank of the Garonne River in Bordeaux where many of the areas greatest properties lie. This unique area was delineated by the Appellation Control Board covering 8,000 acres spread over 37 communes covering a sliver of land just 50 miles long and four miles wide.
The cooler climate here dictated that Merlot would be the dominant grape as it ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon and thus could be picked before a major hazard occurred like hail or rain. Some 20 years ago, there would probably be no Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Today, the mix is 60% Merlot 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc. As a result, the wines are now fuller and more flavorful than ever.
L'Orangerie basically does everything right, no matter the cost. They tend their own herd in order to produce the natural fertilizer they use in the vineyards. The plant density in the vineyard is 3,000 vines per acre. Consider that a typical vineyard in California would be 900 vines per acre and then you get the picture. That density, while expensive to maintain, means that each vine is responsible for only a third of what their counterparts produce. That translates into more flavor and extract transferred to each grape. It is what accounts for the deep color and flavors of ripe plum, cherries and the chewy, tannic finish just waiting for Tornadoes of beef or duck with a green peppercorn sauce.