Wine Tastings

Rare Old-Vine Carignans from Chile Tasted in NYC

Saturday, June 24 marked the biggest presentation of old-vine Chilean Carignan wines to ever occur in the United States in an intimate tasting held at Puro Chile in New York City.

Twenty-six Carignan varietal wines and blends, many of which have not yet been released in the United States, were presented to an intimate group of top wine writers to help attendees gain a better understanding for the grape as a whole and the specialty project VIGNO, which is focused on the promotion and preservation of this winemaking style.

Carignan was brought to Chile's Maule Valley many years ago and because Chile has not been affected by phylloxera, the vines remain on ungrafted, native rootstocks. Because of their age, these untrellised, bush vines were often neglected by the vineyard owners, who once considered all red grapes to be the same, labeling the vineyard plots "tinto," for red, instead of by the variety.

Old-vine Carignan is most prominent in the Caquenes area of Maule Valley and has set itself apart as a regional specialty as it is rarely found, if at all, anywhere else.  The vines are dry-farmed, meaning no irrigation is used, and they truly express the diversity and potential of the region's terroir.

"The rediscovery of old vine Carignan and the vineyards Maule Valley are two of the most exciting things happening in Chilean wine today," explained Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer. "With a mix of local farmers, ambitious winemakers and some of Chile's most iconic wineries leading the charge, Chile continues to prove its versatility on the world wine stage with these incredible wines."

Dexheimer continued, "The group of Carignan wines tasted with Alder Yarrow and Gregory Del Piaz were proof that this variety is perfectly suited to the Maule Valley's warm and desert like climate. The wines ranged from simple and fruity to full on power houses with loads of complexity, depth and length. Bravo to these wineries, winemakers, farmers and to the VIGNO members for their efforts to preserve and create such great vineyards and wines!"



THE TASTING PANEL Magazine is the nation's fastest-growing and most widely read trade publication for the alcoholic beverage industry. We have a readership of 90,000+ beverage industry insiders, including mixologists and bartenders, hotel F&B personnel, restaurateurs and wine directors, wine and spirits producers, suppliers, importers, distributors and retailers.

Who writes for THE TASTING PANEL?

We have an international network of experienced editors and writers who cover all aspects of the beverage trade, with a focus on today's most happening brands and the people who produce and use them.  Our stable of writers and photographers can and do cover stories across the country and abroad.

Do you accept freelance pitches?

We are not accepting freelance pitches at this time. However, if you are an experienced wine and/or spirits writer and have an interest in being assigned stories, you may send an email query and published writing samples to and you may be considered for upcoming assignments in your area of expertise or geographic locale, depending on our editorial needs.

How can I have my spirits brand or wine reviewed or otherwise featured in THE TASTING PANEL?

We accept samples year-round for consideration for possible review in both Meridith May's "Publisher's Picks" column and Anthony Dias Blue's "Blue Reviews" column. Please see our Sample Submission Guidelines.

If you are interested in having your brand covered in a custom feature story, contact our VP of Marketing and Advertising, Bill Brandel (

Do you host visiting spirits producers and winemakers?

We do often meet with winemakers visiting the Los Angeles area and taste with them in the tasting room in our offices in Encino. Please contact Meridith May ( to make arrangements.

THE TASTING PANEL, 17203 Ventura Blvd, Ste. 5, Encino, CA 91316
Content ©2014 THE TASTING PANEL magazine. All rights reserved