Friday, July 02, 2010

Dignity 124 Miles North of San Francisco

...lies the Piffero Home Ranch in Redwood Valley, Mendocino. To be exact - it's the site of the Pellegrini's Redwood Valley (Old Vine) Carignan fruit.  CARE-N-YAWN is how we say it around Texas by-the-way.  Quite possibly the most loved wine of all the Pellegrini offerings among wine professionals in Texas too. You'll see this bottle on the geekiest of wine lists and offered at your most ecliptic wine shops. For me, this bottle signifies the American wine spirit, planted in the early 1930's by the same family that owns the land today. 

Only 405 cases produced, this 2007 Pellegrini Redwood Valley Carignan ($18) is a perfect choice for July 4th BBQ's.  I'm sipping on a bottle right now after a delicious fresh grilled angus burger (thank you Whole Foods for the AWESOME $1 burger) with homemade guacamole and baked sweet potato fries.


The Piffero Ranch Carignan is located on a rocky, reddish soil bench, the old head pruned vines were planted in 1934 by the grandparents of Ric Piffero. The vineyard is composed mostly of Carignan, but is also interspersed with Zinfandel and Barbera. 

It is dry farmed and averages a little over two tons per acre. We have come to the conclusion that to refer to this wine merely by its variety is not giving it full credit. As with the old plantings of Grenache and Carignan from regions like Priorat in Spain or the southern Rhone, these relics of California's viticultural past can produce some rather interesting wines if the grapes are treated with dignity. For this reason, we will be moving toward vineyard rather than vertical designation in the future.

Winemaking notes from Kevin Hamel @ Pellegrini:

Grapes were de-stemmed and pumped to tank. The fermentation was allowed to go wild and fermented through successfully. This wine's exceptionally low pH and high acidity make it a refreshing, even racy, medium bodied wine. Aging: The wine was aged for nine months in a combination of three-to four-year-old French and American oak barrels.

Acidity: .73 g/L
Alcohol: 14.1%
Appellation: Redwood Valley
Sub-Appellation: Redwood Valley
Bottling Date: May 08, 2009
Harvest Date: October 27, 2007

Fireworks for your tastebuds!

This deep red colored wine bursts with dark cherry and plum notes of flavor. If you're into big tannins or some earthiness pass on this bottle and go for the Cloverdale Ranch wines. This is such a refreshing style of red wine, it's dancing in my mouth right now! Chill it down a bit, sip along with your burgers or walk with it to your local park to sip-on while watching the July 4 festivities. It is DELICIOUS! 

God Bless The Piffero and Pellegrini families for making this an American original for all of us to enjoy! Cheers to a Happy 4th of July - Ali

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Ali, one of my favorites too. Does the merchant have this in? They were out last I checked. -TR