Owned by husband-and-wife team Sandy and Erin Robertson, Dogwood & Thistle is a passion project which allows them to work with small lots of fruit and make the wines that they love to drink. Its name comes from the dogwood being the state flower of Virginia (where Erin was born and raised), and the thistle being the flower of Scotland (where much of Sandy's family is from). Starting with a 2-barrel production of 2017 Pinot Noir, the first release of Dogwood & Thistle was in 2019. This 70-case production of 2018 Carignan comes from Testa Vineyard in Mendocino County. The Testa family has been farming the land since 1912. The business is currently run by the 4th, 5th, and 6th generations of the family and is located right on US-101 in Mendocino. This 2018 Carignan is approachable and delicious, with supple fruit and a firm backbone. It offers notes of fresh fruit with ‘creamy cappuccino and espresso bean notes as you continue to dig in. On the palate it is savory at the beginning and leads to dark, stewed fruit, and meaty charcuterie notes with a medium body and finish.’ This wine is delicious right out of the bottle or would do well with a quick decant.