2009 Forchini Vineyard Carignane
Carignane •Forchini Vineyard
Dry Creek Valley
This 25th Anniversary wine is a fitting tribute to the masterworks that the wonderful Peterson Winery produces. Darkly juicy, sweetly spicy and ultra-delicious, this 2009 Peterson Winery Carignane is a truly fantastic wine. Delicious, right out of the bottle, this wine really springs to life after an hour or two of decanting. Flavors deepen, with rich, dark fruits that become more authentic the longer it breaths.
This wine is a delicious, expressive, spicy, fruit-driven, complex treat that we are truly crazy about. With only 74 cases of this limited-edition, 25th Anniversary wine produced, this is likely the only opportunity that you’ll have to pick some up.
Dark magenta with a darker heart. Color is perfectly even, from core to edge. A beautiful ring of ruby runs around the glass. After swirling, thin legs form high up on the glass, before moving swiftly down the glass.
Dark fruit and spice leap from the glass. Overripe blackberry, smoky blueberry, black currant and warm brown spice leap from the glass. Black cherry, plum, sweetwood, dark chocolate and dark dried flower petals round out the lush nose.
Intriguing and complex, with bold flavors overripe blackberry, black cherry, wild strawberry, dried violets, spiced cranberry and toasted oak. As the wine opens up, flavors of tobacco leaf, sweet spice, anise, plum and black pepper appear.
Dark and juicy, fruit flavors sustain for an extra long time. As dark fruits fade, red fruits come to the forefront. As these red fruits fade, sweet brown spice, oak and black pepper remain, tailing off very slowly.
What the Winery Says
Engaging aromas of spicy plum, strawberry jam and a hint of rose petal denote a classic Carignane, and the palate follows suit. The dark spicy mouthfeel reveals cherry and plum around a core of ripe strawberry, subtle black licorice, a hint of mineral and [sweet] vanillin oak. Well-integrate tannins and oak showcase the solid structure produced by the old vine fruit.
This wine offers a complexity rarely found in this varietal, but worth seeking out because it’s such a joy to drink. Try pairing it with slow-roasted pull pork over a bed of creamy polenta, or baked rigatoni with Italian sausage and fennel.
Jamie’s (Peterson) Vintaged View & Vineyard Notes: The Forchini’s, our next-door neighbors on the eastern bench of the Dry Creek Valley, own a gem of a vineyard, with 100-year-old Zinfandel vines and 2 acres of 60+year-old Carignane vines as the crown jewels. When offered, we jumped at the chance to get some of the Carignane grapes and we haven’t looked back (other than to extend the grape contract few more years.). Planted on well-drained benchland soil, this vineyard is completely non-irrigated, sustainably farmed, and provides fantastic grapes with which to work.
We initially purchased the Carignane in 2007 for blending—to add spice, brightness and complexity to our Zinfandels and Petite Sirah. We liked the stand-alone wine so much, and luckily we had a small amount remaining after the blending was done. We bottled the remaining Carignane as a single varietal with a vineyard designate. We’ve tripled production since that frst bottling—from one barrel (25 cases) to three barrels (74 cases). With such a small bottling and the limitations of label choices, we decided on a unique look and designed an old-fashioned stencil label. Each bottle is carefully hand painted, giving this old-vine wine the touch of tradition and respect it deserves.
Varietal Breakdown: 100% Old Vine Carignane
Vineyard: Forchini Vineyard
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Barrel Aging: 21 MOnths
Types of Oak: 33% 2-year-old French oak barrels & 67% 4-year-old French oak barrels
Bottling Date: June 29, 2011 (unfined & unfiltered)
Production: 74 cases
Release Date: May 2012
About the Winery
Peterson Winery is located on Dry Creek Road just north of Healdsburg, in the famous Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County, California. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the geography of Northern California, Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Valley are about 75 miles north of San Francisco, and 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean coastline.
Peterson Winery grew out of the vineyards that now supply it with grapes. That may seem unusual, but our background is not just in winemaking, but also in grape growing, or viticulture. For us, making great wine is about the grapes – where and how they were grown, what the weather conditions were, and how the vineyards were managed during the growing season.
Winemaker Jamie Peterson
I’ve been helping my father at the winery since I was 12, back to the days of labeling each bottle by hand (watch out for those mid-1990’s crooked labels…). I actually grew up in the vineyards and cellar. I worked two harvests here at the winery in 2000 and 2001, the 2001 harvests Down Under in Australia at Lowe Family Winery and then in New Zealand, at Ngatarawa Winery. With this solid base of experience, much to my excitement I was given the opportunity of taking over winemaking duties at Peterson Winery in June 2002, and I’ve been loving it ever since.
Overseeing the quality of the wine from when the grapes come in all the way through to the bottle is my main responsibility and priority. Since it’s a pretty small staff here this keeps me pretty busy, but when I’m not checking up on barrels or wrestling with the bottling equipment, you can often find me at one of the numerous tasting events we attend, whether it is for charity or for the love of wine.
My winemaking philosophy follows that of my father- great wine is about place, and time/vintage, not about how much the winemaker can change a wine to suit a certain style. I continue a low tech/high touch approach here, with the only major changes from the methods of my father being sanitation practices (use of steam cleaning for water conservation, etc.) and an adoption of a “gravity-flow” handling of the fruit.
The grapes for Peterson wines are grown in small, traditionally farmed vineyards, primarily in the Dry Creek Valley. Though each vintage varies from year to year due to weather factors, the vineyard locations remain the same. And since all Peterson wines originate from the same small plantings, there is a true consistency of place that is reflected in our wines.
Making great wines is all about balance.
It starts in the vineyards, where we try to achieve a balance from bud break in the spring until the grapes are picked in the fall. Balancing the canopy, the crop load, the sun exposure, the hang time, and the hundred other details involved in managing a vineyard are what need to be considered to achieve balance.
Once the grapes are picked, it is then the winemaker’s responsibility to continue the balancing act in the cellar. All the variables that Mother Nature gave us during the growing season need to be considered because they affect the grapes and the approach to winemaking for that vintage. If you keep a good handle on the growing conditions of the season, you have fewer preconceived notions of what the wine should taste like because you’ve already been dealing with all the realities of that vintage.
At Peterson Winery we practice the philosophy of Zero Manipulation.
Our definition of Zero Manipulation is using the gentlest winemaking techniques possible to maximize flavors, aromatics and the original essence of the wine. The less you do in the course of a wine’s tenure in the cellar, the more of the grape’s and vineyard’s essence you’ll have to bottle.