Carignan, 2016. Domaine Ferrer Ribiere

Carignan, 2016. Domaine Ferrer Ribiere

Item #: U0422R1
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Carignan
Vineyard/Appellation: Cotes Catalanes, France
Color: Opaque
Nose: Black Licorice
Palate: Cassis, Plum
Finish: Medium Tannins
Rating: 98
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2024/Red Meat/14.5% Alcohol by Volume

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It is impossible to imagine that any wine could be produced from vines that are no less than 140 years old. It is also impossible to imagine that any vineyard is still planted on its own rootstock at a time when phylloxera was destroying all of the vineyards in Europe. Vines typically don't last more than 100 years. We have never encountered a vine that was 140 years old. At this age, it produces enough grapes for about half a glass of wine. In its earlier years, it would produce 3-4 bottles.

A plant louse, phylloxera was devastating Europe beginning in the 1850s. The only cure was to plant American rootstock, which wasn't susceptible, and then graft European vine stock to it. Voila, no phylloxera! You can probably count the vineyards planted to their original rootstock on one hand. That's how rare this is.

That's what caused Denis Ferrer and Bruno Ribiere to join forces in 1993 and found Ferrer Ribiere. Their 100 acre vineyard became certified organic and biodynamic in 2007, one of the few wineries in Roussillon to be so accredited.

Carignan is also a critical part of the story. It was planted because it was easy to grow, had good color and was a good addition to add bulk to more interesting wines. But, something magical happened to the wine when the vine approached 50 years. It became other worldly. That is what makes this wine so special. The intensity is amazing. Dense blackberry, earth, and licorice abound here and invite a sausage and pepper pasta or pork carnitas.

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