2012 Domaine Aubaï Mema Carignan "L'Insoumise" Vin de France (Previously $14) SKU #1272394

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Tasting Notes

An organically farmed, naturally made old-vine Carignane from Aubais, a small medieval village south of Nîmes, and unconventional winemaker Mark Haynes. Mark is a spirited man who came to winemaking late in life when he realized that so many producers in the Gard region were turning their backs on winemaking and farming. Half of the grapes for this wine undergo carbonic maceration to preserve freshness in the fruit and the other half are fermented traditionally. The result, as the winery puts it, is an "engaging nose of red fruit flesh with a delicate, spicy background. A pleasant, smooth attack, melted and soft; a soft, frank expression of the fruit. A pretty length with a welcome touch of firmness. L’Insoumise in the French feminine form means: the rebel, the indomitable one. A Carignan to discover!"

Staff Reviews

  • Mahon McGrath
    By: Mahon McGrath
    K&L Staff Member
    There’s dusty, dark fruit with spice accents, a smidgen of black olive, medium body, and an unabashedly dry character here. I can’t remember the particular winemaker who stated it, but one once said once that Carignane only begins to show what it is capable of with significant vine age. Based on sixty-year-old vines, I think that this is coming into its prime, and showing the way Carignane is capable of making compelling varietal wine, distinct from the triumvirate of Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre it often fraternizes with.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    One of my favorite cuvées from this winery has to be the 2012 Domaine Aubaï Mema Carignan “L’Insoumise.” The word translates to “rebel” or “indomitable one,” and when one “knows” Carignan as a grape variety it all begins to make sense. This is a tricky grape, often changing its yields dramatically from year to year. The vines don’t even really start producing great fruit until they turn 50 years of age. It’s a love-hate relationship for many winemakers, but when it’s great, it can be really great. The 2012 is full of deep purple fruit, supple tannins and light floral tones making it pure pleasure in a glass.
  • Daniel Maas
    By: Daniel Maas
    K&L Staff Member
    A dark and stormy night, it was, as I found myself driving through the windy country roads of Aubais. An aggressive rain pounded the tinny roof of my rented Dodge Dart. More than once I was sure that a drop or two succeeded in making its way inside and atop my head. It was then, just as things could not look more bleak, that a small animal ran from the side of the road, forcing my foot down on the breaks and the car right into a tree. The rain increased its ferocity as I now stood there, stranded in the south of France. Thankfully, through the dense tree line, a faint light broke the gloom. Making my way closer, I soon found myself confronted by the relieving site of a large structure. Smoke rose from the chimney as I made my way to the door, soon finding myself welcomed inside. Soaking wet, my night had turned from tragedy to triumph, as my generous hosts poured me a glass of their "L'Insoumise", a hauntingly beautiful expression of old-vine Carignan that soon proved magical. I no longer was cold. No longer wet. Instead, I found myself warmed and dried by the sheer opulence of the wine's voluminous body and the rich tannin, pronounced layers of black pepper, earth, and subtle lavender. One glass led to the next. And then a third. Before long, a rainy night had blossomed into a contemplative morning, with fog retreating from the vineyards. Making my way from the guest room to the foyer, I was offered a fresh change of clothes, as mine were dry yet badly wrinkled. "No. Thank you." I stepped out of the house, and stopped, turning back. "Another bottle of that incredible wine will more than suffice". Now, years later, I too-often find myself thinking of that night. Not of the rain, and not of the crash. Instead, I find myself dreaming of the “L’Insoumise”, and the question that it brings forth. How can one simple bottle of wine contain such pleasure? Answer this, my friends, and everything will be just fine.


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