Region: Contra Costa County, Central Coast, California
Varietal: 100% Carignan
Tasting notes: The aroma is attractive with a mix of fig and wet stone, integrated with the flavors of tropical fruit, pomegranate and dark plum. The agreeable softness makes it easy to drink, and we find it an ideal match for a wide range of foods. This is a wine that improves every beef stew it encounters, and shows you why Carignan is one of the most popular wines in Europe.
Producer: In 1999, Bruce and Barbara Neyers purchased and renovated a winery on a thirty-acre parcel in the Sage Canyon area of Napa Valley. Over the next 14 months they built a modern, highly functional winery designed for traditional winemaking practices. They produced their first vintage in this state of the art facility in 2000. In 2002, Wine and Spirits Magazine named Neyers Vineyards the Artisan Winery of the Year. Even though Neyers Vineyards sits in the heart of the Napa Valley, Bruce's experience with French wine importer Kermit Lynch has had an undeniable influence on their wines. All of the grapes are picked by hand, into small bins that hold only one-half ton. They are then laboriously hand sorted and inspected at the winery as winemaker Tadeo Borchardt gently guides the winemaking process along. As Bruce says, “No expense has been spared in our grape growing, winemaking practices, or processing equipment, yet customers repeatedly tell us that our wines represent great value in today's highly competitive wine market.”
Vineyard and Winemaking: Evangelho vineyard contains ancient vines planted on an ancient alluvial sand bar where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers merge with the cooling waters and breezes of the San Francisco Bay. These gnarly vines are 140 years old and are old world head pruned, non- irrigated, and on their original root stock. Defying the perils of age and disease, the vines continue to offer their luscious fruit to succeeding generations of wine makers. “These vines are now approximately 140-years-old, we get only a few tons each vintage, and we ferment the fruit naturally in an open-top fermenter, using only native, wild yeast. The grapes are all crushed by foot–not machine–and after a 45-day maceration, the wine is aged for one year in neutral French oak barrels, then bottled unfiltered the following July. The finished wine offers much of what I found charming in the Carignan of Maxime Magnon, and the bright, fresh flavors introduce an element rarely seen in wines made from other varieties.” – Bruce Neyers
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