Garage Wine Co Old Bush Vine Carignan

Garage Wine Co Owners

Carignan can be awful – most of what Andrew Jefford describes as southern France’s ‘petrol pump red’ is made from it. The combination of fertile soils, high yields and winemakers more interested in quantity than quality can produce tough, boring wine that won’t even wash down a saucisson baguette.

It can also be wonderful – I love some old vine examples from Roussillon and Emporda, either side of the Pyrenees. Here the vines are old, the soils are rocky and the mountainous, coastal climate is given to extremes of heat, cold and wind. The result is wines that are full of fruit, spice, minerality and character.

Garage Wine Co. Dry-Farmed Old Bush Vine Carignan is the closest I have found to those wines in the New World.

As the name gives away, it is made from dry farmed old bush vines in Maule. Mr Mossmann, the winemaker, recently won the Geoffrey Roberts Travel Award to work with farmers to protect these vines in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, and to help unleash their potential.

The Garage Wine Co. does everything on an artisan scale: tiny vats, wild yeasts, hand pumping, hand bottling in reused glass with handpainted labels. The company was one of the founders of the incredibly exciting MOVI group which has brought together boutique wineries from across the country in an attempt to subvert the general perception that Chile is the home of Big Wineries and precious little else.

The wine itself is simply delicious. My notes linger on the incredible pot pourri perfume that jumped out of the glass – violets, dried roses, damson jam. The palate is pure and focused with lovely depth of sweet purple fruit and very ripe tannins. As the flavours rumble on, it hints at a darker Dr Jekyll side to the fruit. The finish is a return to the light: fresh, bracing, bright and mouthwatering.

Gareth Groves
24th June 2011

Company No. 2550982 | 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR | Call: 0845 263 6924 | AWRS Number: XVAW00000101595

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