Your Wine IQ

Carignan


International Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon   Merlot   Pinot Noir   Syrah

Major Varieties: Cabernet Franc    Grenache    Malbec    Nebbiolo    Sangiovese    Tempranillo    Zinfandel

Regional Varieties:   Baga    Barbera    Blaufränkisch    Brachetto    Carignan    Carménère    Cinsaut    Dolcetto    Gamay    Graciano    Lagrein    Malvasia Nera    Marzemino    Montepulciano    Mourvèdre    Nero d'Avola    Petit Verdot    Petite Sirah    Pinot Meunier    Pinotage    Touriga Nacional


Carignan is a Spanish grape that originated in Aragon, and later was transported to Italy and across the rest of Europe. It has large yields, but is very high in both acidity and tannins, making it hard to drink as a varietal. Unlike grapes such as Merlot, Carignan is used in blends to toughen soft wine, not to soften tough wine. It became very popular in California for a short time, but is mostly used in blends there now. Probably Carignan's most solid use is in the Languedoc, where it is one of the five most commonly used grapes.