Inspired by the sommelier cult producer, Maxime Magnon, and Beaujolais’ Gang of Four in Morgon, the Railsback brothers seek whole-cluster Carignan made with partial carbonic maceration, delivering a juicy-fruited, crushable red that is best served chilled or at cellar temperature.
Their 2020 version was sourced primarily from an amazing new site in Santa Ynez called Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, located in the Happy Canyon AVA, and sheltered by the marine winds on the eastern fringe of the Santa Rita Hills. Planted to mostly Bordeaux varieties, and which they discovered while sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon for a private label for a Michelin-starred restaurant, the TTT vineyards are geologically diverse with serpentine, magnesium silicate, iron oxide composite, and crystalline quartz “chert” with a topsoil of clay loam that naturally reduces vigor.
The few rows of Carignan at TTT produced bunches just half the size of others in the area, and the 2020 cuvée is a blend of 75% TTT and 25% Camp 4. Vinified separately in whole bunches and partial carbonic deliciousness, it was bottled after five months in neutral French oak, without fining or filtration. Eric and Lyle were excited to find 2020 to be their best Carignan yet, an easy-drinking, light-bodied, fresh red that’s loaded with flavors of plum, cranberry, baking spices, and sandalwood. It has a pronounced “umami” salinity from the nearby ocean air, and a luminosity from the 2020 vintage that makes it a perfect match for saucisson, charcuterie, and of course the ubiquitous burger or pizza night!