Onward “Hawkeye Ranch” Carignane 2016

Redwood Valley, Mendocino, California
$30 (Wine Club Reorder – $26)

Note: Photo borrowed from 2014 vintage

The first time I met Faith Armstrong she was letting me use her guest house shower after treating me to a tasty home cooked meal with her 4 children. When I first moved to Napa my plumbing was out for a week, so my roommate introduced me to her good friend Faith, who not only opened up her home to me but made me feel welcomed. She’s a genuine, caring person and I think that exudes in her winemaking.

Onward is focused on single vineyard, site-driven wines. They have a strong commitment to the environment and have searched carefully to find vineyard sites that provide excellent fruit quality as well as sustainable, if not organic, farming techniques by the grower. Hawkeye Ranch is located in Mendocino County, specifically in Redwood Valley, owned by 5th generation family farmers and is a Certified Organic vineyard. The vines are 80 years old and dry farmed, meaning they produce tiny, dense little berries for a flavor packed wine.

“My style is about letting the vines speak. They are the art, I am the canvas, my job is to give them a chance to share their beauty in each and every vintage.” –Faith Armstrong

Carignane is known for its great value and food friendliness. It’s a medium-bodied red most commonly grown in Southern France, and is prized for its red fruit flavors and its rich and smooth mouthfeel with much lighter tannins and bitterness than Cabernet.

This is the perfect wine to open on a night when you need something easy to sip on with your cheese and charcuterie board. It has a beautiful minerality to it and is bursting with red fruits like cranberry and pomegranate, and floral notes like hibiscus (fun fact: Hibiscus flowers don’t actually have a scent, so when referred to in tasting notes it’s more commonly the Hibiscus concentrate used in tea which smells like pomegranate juice). You might also find some nice spice like cinnamon and anise or umami flavors of smoked meats that will pair nicely with cured meats like Bresaola and Coppa.

Taylor Morgan – February 2021

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