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WINE OF THE WEEK: TerraNoble Gran Reserva Carignan 2018, Maule, Chile

£14.50, Vintage Cellars

It's so good to see growers nurturing and valuing old Carignan vines, not just in Chile but in Lebanon and Languedoc-Roussillon. For decades, it was a grape variety so deeply out of step with consumer tastes and winemaking fashions that even old vines were pulled up, or simply neglected, and grapes from younger vineyards and sky-high yields were blended into oblivion.

The fruit from old Carignan in Mediterranean climates with suitably poor soils is something else: witness this perfumed, mineral Gran Reserva, made by Marceló Garcia of TerraNoble. The vines, planted 63 years ago, are in the Melozal area of Maule in shallow alluvial terraces of granitic origin with quartz – soils that have to be cultivated with horses and by the dwindling band of people who have the experience needed. The hand-harvested grapes are vinified gently and both malolactic and the 10–12 months' ageing are divided between concrete eggs and untoasted foudres, giving the wine the finesse that so frequently eludes Carignan.

With floral, redcurrant, tart cherry, cranberry and spicy balsam notes wafting over sleek tannins and rock-fresh acidity, it's the sort of red that goes with a wide range of foods. I enjoyed it with vine-wrapped roast quail (the pan deglazed lightly with pomegranate molasses) and an array of variously herbed and spiced roast vegetables (courgettes, peppers, aubergines, tomatoes, onions, garlic), but there aren't many savoury dishes I wouldn't try it with.

TerraNoble Gran Reserva Carignan 2018, Maule, Chile

£14.50, Vintage Cellars


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