Vaughn Duffy Carignane 2019

Bartolomei Brothers Vineyard, Mendocino
$29 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $26)

Some of you may remember when Matt Duffy was the Manager here at Bacchus & Venus over a decade ago. He estimated that he tasted more than 3000 wines working here, which helped foster his desire to become a winemaker. He began at the bottom, schlepping hoses and cleaning tanks at Siduri Winery before eventually moving on to Vinify Winery Collective, where he has been making wine for about 30 different wineries under one industrial roof (spared by the raging fires of 2017 by only a few blocks).

While working at Bacchus & Venus, Matt met his wife Sarah Vaughn, eventually convincing her (and her family) that they should start their own label. Starting out, they bought one ton of Pinot Noir grapes and made their first wine under the Vaughn Duffy label. Right out of the gate, Vaughn Duffy was recommended by the San Francisco Chronicle, Wine Spectator, and Wine & Spirits Magazine, among others. Over the next decade, Vaughn Duffy grew from a passion project into a boutique California winery with a loyal following among in-the-know enthusiasts, including rosé freaks, Pinot Noir geeks, and wine buyers at top restaurants and retail establishments in the Bay Area and across California.

Vaughn Duffy crafts small lots of primarily vineyard-designate wines. They’re emblematic of the new era of first-generation winemaking families in California. No estate or winery is required – these new vintners purchase grapes from farmers across the finest appellations and make their wines in shared facilities. This Carignane is one of Matt’s latest creations, and actually the first time he’s ever had a go with Carignane. Only 46 cases were made, and we snagged the last 9.5 cases of this vintage so I urge you to try this wine now and order more as needed.

This Carignane boasts a flavor profile of juicy fruit and bright acidity, making it an ideal food wine. It smells like Valentine’s Day – lots of roses and chocolate. The acidity pops the palate and leads to fresh red fruit flavors of cranberries, Bing cherries, and raspberries. I might be getting ahead of myself, but this wine is a perfect pairing with a classic Thanksgiving dinner.

Taylor Morgan – September 2021

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