Organic 80-year old vines that have been dry-farmed for generations, a relative rarity in California. It is fermented with partial whole clusters and aged completely in old French oak barrels, allowing the fruit to slowly oxygenate without taking on perceptible flavor from the wood. A wine of ample fruit, silky tannins, and delicate herbaceousness, Onward’s Hawkeye Carignan treads the line between elegance and rusticity. Expect notes of juicy red cherry and cranberry alongside herbal tinges of thyme and mint. Try with roast chicken or vegetable tagine.
The humble Carignan is rarely afforded the luxury of expressing itself in unadulterated form. Even in regions where it reigns supreme like France’s southwesterly Corbières appellation, you’ll still find Grenache, Cinsault, and sometimes Mourvèdre making an appearance in the blending process. Originally from Catalonia (where it’s known as Cariñena), it is most commonly found today in southern France and Sardinia. Carignan is naturally high-yielding, yet requires relatively warm growing conditions and generally must be picked by hand. The very best expressions, like Onward’s Hawkeye, come from very old vines which naturally produce at a very low yield due to their advanced age, yielding fewer but more intensely flavored and perfumed berries. This lends complexity to the resulting wine.