Carignan Noir is a black grape with a contested origin. In France, and in many other countries, it is known as Carignan. In Spain, it is known as Mazuela or Samsó.
Carignan is characterised by high levels of acidity and tannins, as well as being able to provide good colour.
Subsequently it is an ideal blending partner. In order to produce high quality wine, it must be submitted to green harvest. It thrives in the hot Mediterranean climate.
Depending on where you are, Carignan wines will be labelled with different synonym names. In Priorat in north-eastern Spain it will be called Samsó, while it might appear under the name Mazuela in Rioja. In Sardinia it will be called Carignano.
It is more common to find it as a blend together with for example Syrah, Grenache or Mourvedre, than to find it as a varietal wine, although they do exist.
Given the high tannin levels, a good pairing requires proteins from red meat. A steak or another dish made from meat will pair excellently with this basically very nice grape. The wine is best served at 16-18°C/61-64°F.
Where is it grown?
With its 53.042 ha/131,070 ac, representing an increase of nine percent between 2000 and 2010, Carignan Noir is the seventeenth most planted grape world-wide.
- France 47.720 ha/117,919 ac, MPG rank 6, found in many regions with the main plantings (more than seventy percent) being in Languedoc-Roussillon
- Tunisia 7.576 ha/18,721 ac, MPG rank 1
- Algeria 7.550 ha/18,565 ac, MPG rank 1
- Spain 4.749 ha/11,735 ac, MPG rank 25, found in many regions with the main plantings in Rioja
- Italy 2.023 ha/4,999 ac, MPG rank 50, with most plantings in south-western Sardinia
- Morocco 1.692 ha/4,181 ac, MPG rank 7
- USA 1.441 ha/3,561 ac. MPG rank 22, with most plantings in California
- Israel 971 ha/2,399 ac, MPG rank 1
- Cyprus 481 ha/1,189 ac, MPG rank 3
- Chile 477 ha/1,179 ac. MPG rank 17, found in many regions, most plantings are in Del Maule
- Mexico 448 ha/1,107 ac, MPG rank 3
There are several suggestions as to where Carignan Noir comes from. It is however not clear if it has originated in Sardinia or central Spain. The likelihood that it should be of French origin is however very small, given the latest findings.