Karnage – Jura Négoce

Karnage is a relatively new négoce (winemakers who buy the grapes they are going to make wines with) in the Jura, based in the central town of Arbois.

Karnage is a collaboration between two well-known Arbois locals. The first is Stéphane Planche who we first came across when he was the sommelier at the high-end Arbois restaurant called Maison Jeunet (which has subsequently moved from Arbois to Port Lesney). After leaving the restaurant he set up his own wine store and occasional bar called Les Jardins de St-Vincent just around the corner in the very centre of Arbois. Here he has assembled a wonderful collection of wines and on our regular visits to Arbois we always pay a visit to supplement our supplies of natural wines.

The second person involved in the Karnage négoce is Charles Dagand who was previously the partner of Alice Bouvet from l’Octavin. So we got to know Charles and we also started importing his own wine some years ago.

Now they have created Karnage where they buy grapes from around France and make the wine in Arbois.

We will be receiving four wines and they are described below.

Karnage Vin de France Zak 2020

The grapes for this wine were purchased from a vineyard in Castelreng which is about 20 kilometres south of Carcassonne in southern France in the Languedoc region. The harvest occurred on 13th September 2020.

The grape variety is Mauzac which is a key ingredient of the famous sparkling wines of nearby Limoux (the main grape variety these days is Chardonnay, but Mauzac is still required) and still wines from Gaillac which is further north.

The Mauzac was directly pressed without destemming and then left to ferment throughout the winter including going through malolactic fermentation. The fermentation was quite slow, but obviously went through to completion.

The resultant Karnage wine was bottled on July 1st, 2021 without any additions.

RRP: $64

Karnage Vin de France Kolombour 2020

The grapes for this wine were purchased from a vineyard in the area around the village of Adissan in the Hérault in southern France. This is the area inland from the town of Montpelier.

The grape varieties are Colombard and Bourboulenc, two varieties that can make very interesting wines. Those who have tried the Vain du Ru that we import from Dominique Andiran will know that Colombard can make quite an exciting wine! The same goes for Bourboulenc which is often used as a blending wine in Provence.

The Bourboulenc bunches were direct pressed. The Colombard was distributed among two tanks. In one tank was whole bunches and the other held destemmed grapes. In both cases the juice from the Bourboulenc was added to cover the grapes. The maceration was a short 7 days so this wine is slightly “orange” as a result of the juices being in contact with the skins of the Colombard for that time.

The juice from both tanks was combined and then bottled on the 1st July 2021 without any additions.


Karnage Vin de France Kassette B 2020

This wine was made from grapes purchased from a vineyard near the beautiful southern walled city of Carcassonne. The grapes are 50% Alicante Bouschet and 50% Merlot and they were harvested on 20th August, 2020.

Alicante Bouschet is an interesting grape variety which is receiving more attention these days due to the fact that it is a teinturier grape. This means that it is one of only a few red grape varieties that has red juice.

The whole bunches of Alicante were distributed across two tanks and then the first tank was filled with half of the direct-pressed Merlot (which means that it was filled with white juice as Merlot is not a teinturier variety). The second tank was filled with destemmed Merlot.

The first tank underwent three weeks of maceration and the second tank 15 days. The wine was bottled on the 1st July 2021 without any additions.

If you want to read more about Alicante Bouschet we have written a story about it in our November 2021 newsletter which you can access by clicking on the link below:

Living Wines Wine Talk Newsletter 103 November 2021


Karnage Vin de France Kari 2020

The Carignan grapes for this wine were sourced from Domaine du Mazel near the quaint village of Valvigniéres in the Ardéche region. The grapes were harvested on the 6th September, 2020.

the technique they used to make the wine, we think will be one that is used more and more in the natural wine world. It is a form of carbonic maceration. For this wine they direct pressed half of the grapes then destemmed half of the remaining grapes and left the rest as whole bunches.

The destemmed grapes and the bunches were then placed in a tank and then they were covered by the direct press juice and left to macerate for 15 days.

The wine was bottled on the 4th November without any additions. The alcohol level is only 11.8%.