Name: 2004 Porter Creek Carignane
Region: Russian River Valley, California
Price: $17.99 to $19.99
Very few people work as hard, or even try as hard as Alex Davis, the winemaker, winegrower and Son in the Father/Son operation behind Porter Creek Vineyards.
Named after a tributary to the Russian River, Porter Creek Vineyards has a strong commitment to organic and hillside farming (currently they are Aurora certified organic in transition to Demeter biodynamic). A focus on care, sustainability, responsibility and intention is applied to every aspect of this farm, from the twenty acres of land that Alex has been know to hand prune himself, to the conversion of all the farm vehicles to biodiesel. In the true nature of Biodynamic, Porter Creek sees the entire farm as an organism.
This attention and focus translates perfectly into their wine. After studying in Burgundy, Alex decided that Porter Creek would make solely Rhone and Burgundian varietals, the right choice for the soil and aspect of his vineyards.
One of these Rhone varietals is, Carignane, a fairly uncommon grape here in the states that is widely planted abroad. Carignane is often used in blends and rarely stands alone. It can be an unstable and difficult grape that takes a skilled and determined winemaker to get it right.
The 2004 Porter Creek Carignane is more than right, it's delicious: light body, dark color with ripe berry fruit, soft tannins, light acidity, and even some spiciness. My perfect dinner companion for this bottle of wine would be hearty plate of sautéed Chard & squash with sausage and a touch of cheese.