Had the 2009 Paul Mas Estate Carignan Vieilles Vignes, Pays d'Herault tonight. Usually reduced to the role of bit player in Rhone blends, this varietal Carignan shows quite a bit of character even if it isn't done in a style that I'm really on top of. The nose is very Old World with iodine, blood, cured meat and herbal overtones. Earthy, herbal palate with some coarse, hickory-like notes. Not much fruit to speak of on the nose or palate. No tannins to speak of. Decent acidity. Finishes with earthy, dry chocolate and ashen notes. If you like your Rhone wines with lots of funky, earthy flavors, this wine might be for you. About $15.
This was another one of those wines that was pretty difficult to enjoy on its own. But it really sang with tonight's rustic home made pizza with blue cheese crumbles and sliced green olives.