Carignan, a red wine grape, was the dominant variety grown in France until the late 20th century, when it was eclipsed by Merlot. It is thought to originally be from Catalonia and grows best in a hot climate due to its late ripening. It produces wines with a high acidity and prominent tannins, especially when grown in high yields. Carignan’s productive abilities are famous and it is able to produce four times the yield of grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon. If, however, the yield is restrained, the resulting wines have a fruitier quality that masks the sometimes sharp acidity and rough tannins.
This mutation of Carignan is extremely rare, with perhaps just a single hectare of it being grown on the border of Languedoc and Roussillon. It is a pink-grey grape that grows in large bunches and, like Carignan, is late to bud and late to ripen (something many producers would consider commercially unviable). It can be used in Languedoc and Roussillon AOCs for blends, and also as its own varietal white wine, which is usually dry with a strong minerality.