2015 Onward Carignane, Hawkeye Ranch, Redwood Valley
Bright fresh aromas of Lambert cherry, Santa Rosa plum, cranberry and pomegranate are complemented by hibiscus flower aromas and a beautiful minerality. This wine is lively and fresh with a smooth finish, she is comfortable in her own skin and upon meeting her for the first time this feeling rushes through you, and it is as if you have always known her. This is the cool-climate expression of Carignane, driven by vibrant red fruit and framed by structured tannins.
The 80-year-old vines are head trained and are huge, more like trees than vines. I can stand beneath the fruiting canopy of many of the vines. The rootstock is St. George, which is excellent for dry-farmed vines when planted in deep soils such as these. This vineyard is not only dry farmed, but is certified fish friendly and organic.
The vineyard sits at 722 feet in elevation in the Redwood Valley, located in the upper reaches of the Russian River drainage in Mendocino County. The gravelly loam soil provides excellent drainage and the crop load and vine vigor are naturally balanced, allowing for an organic farming style that promotes slow, steady fruit maturation.
A layer of whole cluster was placed at the bottom of the fermentor, then the remaining fruit was de-stemmed and the whole berries transferred to the open-top fermentation tanks to cold soak prior to fermentation, which allows for delicate extraction and adds complexity. Careful extraction is key here, as well as a modest amount of air from time to time. The fermentation is carried out at higher temperatures to soften tannins. After fermentation, the wine was pressed and sent to neutral French oak barrels, where malolactic fermentation was encouraged (by keeping them cozy and stirring).
Included in the Box
4x 2015 Onward Carignane, Hawkeye Ranch, Redwood Valley
12x 2015 Onward Carignane, Hawkeye Ranch, Redwood Valley
We have a strong commitment to our environment, and believe that sound practices are not only essential for the survival of the wine industry, but also produce the highest quality wine. To that end, we’ve searched carefully to find vineyard sites that provide excellent fruit quality accompanied by earnestness on behalf of the grower.
Onward Wines are single-vineyard, site-driven wines and Farmstrong Wines are blends, and in both expressions the vineyard sites are very special to me. I am a true believer in personal connection and there is a story behind each vineyard site and how it came to be part of my portfolio. In these stories you will learn more about the people behind these vineyards. I liken my connection to these vineyards to that of one’s favorite shirt or coffee mug or chair. Like a well-worn fabric or a slightly chipped mug that may have initially caught my eye for its beauty, but over the years it has won my heart because it just feels right. When it comes to vineyards this happens too, and it is a combination of my connection with the vines themselves and my connection with those that tend them. For me, the grower’s hands are most definitely part of the terroir.
My style is about letting the vines speak. They are the art, I am the canvas, and my job is to give them a chance to share their beauty in each and every vintage. My decisions are driven from the vineyard and the vintage, my cellar practices are to uphold the truths I find in the vineyard. To this end, I pick early looking for balance of flavors at lower ripeness, as I find this is when each vineyard is in its most unique expression of self.
“I see these vineyards as treasures. As a winemaker it is my goal to preserve these treasures and share them as wines.” – Faith Armstrong Foster
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Love me some Carignane. It’s such an interesting variety and when ‘left alone’, it produces a distinctive medium bodied wine that is full of deeper fruit and earthy components. And Faith is one talented winemaker . . .