Known as carignan in France, cariñena (a.k.a. mazuelo and samsó) is best known for being a contributor to the great wines of the Priorat and Montsant DOs in Catalunya (near Barcelona). While its traditional role has been as a blending grape, it is starting to be used on its own to make respectable single-varietal wines. That said, in cariñena’s most important production zones, the Priorat and Montsant DOs, wines are chiefly based on the garnacha grape variety; cariñena adds some acidity, dark coloration, and a boost of tannins, coupled with some bright cherry notes.
Cariñena is chiefly grown in the Rioja, Catalunya and Navarra regions of Spain.
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