26 Apr Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Sawyer-Lindquist 2020 Carignan, Feliz Creek Vineyard, Mendocino
I recently enjoyed the Martha Stoumen 2019 Venturi Vineyard Carignan Long Elevage from Mendocino County and had written about how Carignan is one of the unsung heroes of California grapes. But, like Martha Stoumen, there are other winemakers who are happy to sing about Carignan, such as Bob Lindquist and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist. That is why this week’s Please The Palate wine of the week is another delicious Carignan, the Sawyer-Lindquist 2020 Carignan, Feliz Creek Vineyard, Mendocino.
ABOUT SAWYER-LINDQUIST WINES
Sawyer-Lindquist Wines is a collaboration between two well-regarded winemakers who are also partners in life. Bob Lindquist needs little introduction. Bob is often considered the “King of the Rhône” in the Central Coast and is responsible for many “firsts” in wine. He was the first person to make Syrah in Santa Barbara County in 1982; the first to produce Marsanne made in California in 1987; the first to make cool climate Bien Nacido Syrah in 1987; the first to make a red Rhone blend in Santa Barbara in 1988; the first to make Viognier in Santa Barbara in 1989. Bob created Qupé wines and in 2019, he launched Lindquist Family Wines.
Louisa Sawyer Lindquist has also worked in the wine industry for decades. She began working on the east coast, working on Long Island, followed by working in wine retail, restaurants, wine wholesale, and winery direct sales. In 2000, she started Verdad Cellars, specializing in Spanish grape varieties grown on the Central Coast of California. Also, Louisa is responsible for producing the first Albariño in California.
In 2005, Bob and Louisa planted the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in Edna Valley. They planted the vineyard to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as those are the grapes that thrive in the Edna Valley, and it is farmed biodynamically. But Pinot Noir is not a part of Bob’s Rhone wines and Louisa’s Spanish wines. So they created the Sawyer-Lindquist label was created and the label was drawn by their son Theo who was 9 years old at the time.
The Sawyer-Lindquist Carignan is sourced from the Feliz Creek Vineyard, located in Hopland in Mendocino County. First planted in 1908, and with a second planting added in 1947, these vines are among the oldest Carignan vines in California. The grapes were destemmed and put into open-top fermenters and punched down twice a day by hand. After primary fermentation, the wine was pressed and put into neutral French oak puncheons and aged for sixteen months prior to bottling. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The wine has a beautiful nose of red berry and floral notes. There are notes of cinnamon, cedar, sandal wood, and minerality. On the palate, the wine has smooth tannins, fresh acidity and a lingering finish.
Carignan is a very food friendly wine with grilled meats. A friend of mine had this wine and paired it with saffron rice lamb and curry. Another enjoyed it with spicy ricotta baked meatballs.
WHERE TO PURCHASE
The Sawyer-Lindquist 2020 Carignan, Feliz Creek Vineyard, Mendocino retails for $35 and is available directly from the Lindquist Wines website.
MEET THE WINEMAKER
Listen to the interview I did with Bob Lindquist on the Wine Soundtrack USA podcast.