So I realized, that after I changed my wine club newsletter format, that some of the wine in the warehouse was still stuck in the old school format. It felt weird to be shipping two wines in some people’s initial shipments, one with the new newsletter format and one with the old
Hi, all. Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. I’ll hold this up so you can get a better look at it. This is a wine that we’ve had for a while. This is under my own label which is Aselstine Family Cellars and this is actually a Carignan. It comes from a vineyard up in Mendocino and just as a quick reminder if you’re unfamiliar, every so often we get offered a barrel or two of wine from a winemaker that I like. The situation can change dramatically from year to year for some folks. Most of the men and women that I work with tend to be very small houses. They tend to either have jobs for other wineries or other jobs that happen to cause them to make wine as something of a side [inaudible 00:00:42].
In this case the guys got a “promotion” at work which lead to twice as much travel with no extra paycheck and he had been planning to expand production by a thousand cases or so which left him a few extra barrels that he would like to get rid of without having to decrease prices. I was happy enough to take a barrel and bottle it on my own and so that’s kind of where this comes from. It’s a Mendocino Carignan and so why Carignan? I think if we look at where the industry has moved, it’s interesting to watch that the type of wine that people are drinking is more acidic. We talked a lot about cool climate vineyards and why that exists. Mendocino is definitely cooler overall than a lot of other places.
But it also means that there’s an opportunity to grow Rhone wines and Carignan is a Rhone. There’s only 200 acres or so in California. Can we create these Rhones instead of these dark, brooding style, like almost too tannic to drink now considering consumer preference. Do they come out a little bit lighter? I think when you open this you’ll find that it be kind ofk generally pleasing mid palate. That’s one of the things that I like to do when I end up with a varietal that people aren’t familiar with. I want to have it made in such a style that we can present it so people can focus on the flavors not on, “Oh, my God, this is so tannic I can’t drink it.” Or, “There’s no fruit here and I can almost see through this red wine kind of thing.” I want it to be middle ground in a lot of ways. That way you can say, “Hey, do I actually like what this tastes like?” As opposed to, “I don’t like the style or the mouth feel of this.”
I think Carignan is one of those grapes that behooves the grape in some ways because it can, if it’s grown in a cooler climate, produce something that is a Cabernet alterative. If we look at California and really washington and … Okay, everything, every wine growing region really in the new and old world other than say Oregon or Burgundy, the Pinot spots, Cabernet tends to dominate and so you end up with a lot of vendors and winemakers who want to do a little bit something different but they have an easy time selling Cabernet so they don’t want to go too far away from it. This is a nice way to not go too far away from it.
I think if you’re at the receiving end, a wine shipment from us, if this is your first shipment, I hope you enjoy it. I hope you learn a little bit something and you get to experience a different varietal. We’ll do plenty of Cabernet. We’ll do plenty of Pinot. I also will try to present some of these that are a little bit lesser known. I think it’s fun. I think you’ll a little something and I hope that you’ll be more comfortable ordering wine in the future if you know a little bit more about some standard growing regions in California and some non-standard growing regions in California. I have a little bit more experience with what comes out of Oregon and Washington traditionally and kind of groups of grapes.
I don’t think it’s necessarily important to know exactly what flavor combinations you get, but I think you can reasonably expect to say, “Hey, I had Carignan from Uncorked Ventures and I actually thought that was pretty good. Maybe I’ll try another one.” That’s where I hope we get to. I know you won’t buy all your wine from me. I’m generally just okay with that. So once again, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. This is Aselstine Family Cellars Carignan and I think you’ll find it’s a good, pleasing mid-palate wine. It will remind you of a lot of wines that you’ve had that I think if you can focus on the flavor combinations instead of the acidity or the tannins, I think you get a good intro to a varietal that is pretty darn rare in the United States. Once again, thanks for your business.