Carignan / Mazuelo
This red grape is native to north-east Spain where it goes by the name Mazuelo and is a permitted grape in red Rioja. It is even more prolific in Languedoc-Rousillon, France and known here as Carignan. It is a late budding and late ripening grape that needs the Mediterranean heat to flourish. It is a deeply pigmented grape, high in tannin and acid with lots of bitter compounds. The best wines produced from Carignan come from bush trained old vines whose harsh edges are mellowed by come carbonic maceration and often blended with complimentary varietals to achieve balance.