If you can't find the Chilean wine, pick up a merlot. Around this time, Carménère was brought to Chile and originally planted amongst other varietals, including Merlot. Award-winning British journalist Amanda Barnes has been swirling her way around South America's wine regions since 2009, and established the Squeeze Magazine & South America Wine Guide in 2013 - the first digital Latin American wine guide to South America. It produces a relatively bold, fruity wine of a deep violet colour. On the palate, carménère has medium acidity and tannins with flavors of plum, raspberry, blackberry, peppercorn, green bell pepper, vanilla, and spice. Deals: We're on the look-out for great wine deals and when we see them, we'll send you an email One of the most ancient European varieties, Carménère is thought to be the antecedent of other better-known varieties; some consider the grape to be "a long-established clone of Cabernet Sauvignon." Carménère is now considered the national grape of Chile, known as a great wine the world over for meat dishes and BBQs, but it wasn’t always so well known by the wine drinkers of the world. Spicy earth notes are present along with dark chocolate, tobacco and leather. Tasting different vintages from the same vineyards is always fun, but what’s that CA1 designation? When harvested early, Carménère can lend toward the herbaceous side of the flavor spectrum. Pasta basked in tomato sauce with cut lean meats will pair nicely alongside the flavor and structure of Carmenere. ABOUT THE PRODUCER The transversal Elqui Valley borders the Pacific Ocean to the West, the Atacama Desert to the North, and the Andes Mountains to the East. Some bargain-basement carménères can be overly bitter thanks to an early harvest. Spiced dishes like beef curry and chicken mole also make good pairs with carménère. Subscribe to Winetraveler and receive notifications when new articles are published. Originating in Bordeaux, France, carménère (kahr-meh-NEHR) is a very popular red wine grape in Chile. Taste and Flavor Profile . 1. He works with several brands focusing on experiential and immersive-style travel. Food match: Drink with a slow-cooked lamb shank or a rich, cheesy lasagne. The medium to full-bodied red wines can both exhibit ripe fruit flavors like plum and berries and pair well with meat. It is possible that the variety name is an alias for what is actually the Vidure, a local Bordeaux name for a C… The high acid and soft tannin profile makes Carménère an ideal food pair with a variety of cuisine from cheeses to meats with lower fat content. Deep red with flavors of plum, berries, and spice and a bitter finish, it's often blended with cabernet sauvignon or merlot. Once DNA tests confirmed it as Bordeaux's long-lost carménère, the grape became known worldwide as Chile's red grape. Carménère is a medium bodied savory red wine originating from France, but now predominantly produced in Chile. When optimally ripe, these wines exhibit pronounced notes of red raspberry and savory sour cherry fruit. Montes Alpha Carmenère had a soft mouthfeel with just a light dryness noted. Find out more about this impact aroma compound and what other wines have it in their taste profiles. Grapes harvested earlier tend to be overly herbaceous and bitter. The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot. Carmenere Wine Grapes, Flavor, Character, History, Wine Food Pairings Carmenere is one of the older European grape varietals used to produce Bordeaux wine. Drink through 2018. It's occasionally grown in other regions like Italy, China, Argentina, and New Zealand. Carménère was largely abandoned in France due to its poor fruit set and unreliable yields after the threat of phylloxera in the 19th century. $.05 wine sale (you know, buy a bottle, get a second for $.05). It includes Carménère wines that are readily available. Earthy, spicy berry aromas include varietal specific minty green notes. Best enjoyed young, Carménère is very smooth with medium … Get easy-to-follow, delicious recipes delivered right to your inbox. When optimally ripe, these wines exhibit pronounced notes of red raspberry and savory sour cherry fruit. The vines prefer hot, dry days, making them especially perfect for growing in Chile. In his spare time, you can find him hiking with a bottle of Cabernet Franc in his backpack or scuba diving trying to talk a reef shark into trying Swiss wine. Due to Carmenere's high acid and low tannin profile, consider pairing it with lean cuts of beef, pork or turkey. Long mistaken for Merlot, Carmenere arrived in Chile in the 1800’s with other Bordeaux varieties. Carménère is a medium to full-bodied dry red wine with aromas of tobacco, leather, dark fruit, coffee, bell pepper, and chocolate. On the more affordable end, you can expect to find Carménère wines with honest fruity red berry aromas and tart flavors of raspberry with a subtly bitter taste similar to kale. Depending upon the dishes, Carmenere can be an adventurous and satisfying alternative to Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Chianti Classico, Tempranillo and Malbec. A chewy palate has energy and power, while this tastes of mint, berry fruit, savory spice and green herb. The name for the grape was derived from the French word for crimson “carmin” referring to the bright crimson autumn leaves of the vines prior to leaf fall. Mouthfeel and Tannins. Wine Events: A weekly roundup of wine events in your area. Carménère tends to have a more herbaceous quality than merlot with a bitter finish. Colchagua is the center of Chiles wine universe and many kinds of wines coming from these fertile valleys are very highly rated. Three wines made it into the pricey-but-delicious category. Growing in Chile, carménère was originally mistaken for merlot because of its similar body and flavor profile. It reappeared in Chile at the end of the 20th Century. Carménère was a classic component of the red wines of Bordeaux, France until it was wiped out of France completely by the phylloxera pest. Carménère is medium-bodied with medium acidity and a standard amount of alcohol for red wine. The inspiration behind the Best wine collection comes from our wine experts, who are passionate about sourcing exceptional quality wines from the world's finest wine … Frankly, I really like the wine and have since bought more to share with friends. This article is sponsored by Wines of Chile. Carménère Taste. 2. Carménère is Chile’s quintessential grape varietal. Cheaper carménère is often harvested too early and exhibits strong bitter characteristics. Published: November 23, 2020. Try serving with creamy cheeses like goat cheese and mozzarella. Appellation: Colchagua, Chile. Some wineries sell out quickly, some sell their Carménère only to wine club … For the best quality carménère, the grapes must be allowed a long summer growing season and are often one of the last grapes off the vine during the autumn harvest. Despite its popularity in Chile, the wine has yet to become widely popular outside of the South American country. Snooth Newsletters. The wine’s taste was complex and enjoyable with a dual approach. Pair this wine with meats, risotto, or any dish with lots of seasoning. The red wine can have a lingering, bitter finish, similar to cocoa powder. Carménère is deep and bright ruby red in color. Many fine examples are found in Chile such as Montes Alpha Carménère from Colchagua Valley, Chile. It is found principally in the Colchagua, Rapel, and Maipo valleys. Copyright Wine Traveler, LLC © 2020. Taste. Carménère wine was once produced widely in the Médoc region of France, but a Phylloxera plague swept across Bordeaux in the mid-19th century, wiping it from France. Australian Carmenere wine regional and flavour profile Carmenere taste and aromas Cherry, raspberry, plum, and herbaceous notes with characteristics of smoke, spice and earthy notes, reminiscent of dark chocolate, tobacco, and leather. Snooth: Get Snooth's free wine newsletter for a daily dose of what to drink right now, pairing ideas, wine country travel tips, and more. Carménère is deep and bright ruby red in color. Tasting Notes: Blackberries, plums, cherries, and warm spice with smooth and balanced vanilla notes. Serve in a red wine glass at a cool 65 F. With its lower acidity levels, Carmenere is typically not a grape that is built to age and is best consumed within a couple of years of its vintage date. Made from 100% Carmenere from grapes grown in the Andes area of the Colchagua Valley. I stumbled across Carmenere by buying a couple of bottles of 120 Carmenere 2009 (Santa Rita, Chile) at the BevMo! First there was a combination of red and black fruits on the palate. Outside of Chile, Carmenere is found in small quantities — North Eastern Italy in the Veneto is of particular note. Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox. Carménère is a red wine grape variety that yields wines with strong green pepper notes and is reminiscent of cabernet sauvignon. From the Veneto in Italy, Inama Carménère Piu is another example of a premium fine wine made primarily from Carménère. Following that were secondary notes of coffee and allspice along with a little bit of oak. It was later identified and now flourishes in Chile’s optimal warm and dry growing environment. Carmenere is now Chile's premier grape variety. Grown in only a few of the world’s wine regions, ... Saucy in taste, with gravitas and length to the finish. Both wines have a softer tannin structure, making them good for blending with wines like cabernet sauvignon. When harvested early, Carménère can lend toward the herbaceous side of the flavor spectrum. Grilled and stewed meats like brisket, dark meat turkey, and carne asada. Carménère is produced as a mono varietal but often is accompanied with Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, Select the Right Red Wine Glass for a Full Experience, The 12 Best Wines to Pair with Turkey in 2020, The 10 Best Natural Wines to Drink in 2020. Carmenere grapes image courtesy Wines of Chile Carmenere’s dramatic back story always reminds me of a telenovela heroine that lived in the shadows until her true noble identity was revealed. Carménère is an extremely good barbecue wine and goes well with meaty Chilean dishes like empanadas de pino. In 1867, that dastardly louse known as Phylloxera wiped out most of Bordeaux’s vineyards, … It means that this wine comes from the Los Lingues vineyard at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Colchagua Valley. Carménère is a medium to full-bodied dry red wine with aromas of tobacco, leather, dark fruit, coffee, bell pepper, and chocolate. Taste: Ripe, plummy flavours with a dash of delicious chocolate. The best known, and highest-scoring Carmenere incarnations come from much lower altitude plots in the Colchagua and Cachapoal Valleys, however. It’s full, deep and still fresh after several years in bottle. All Rights Reserved, Learn About These Other Wine Grape Varieties. Food Pairings: The supple tannins lend itself to pairings like barbecued brisket and thick-cut bacon, but equally as good matched … Its lack of tannins makes it better for immediate consumption rather than cellaring. Carmenere originated in France, and was predominantly used in Bordeaux blends. On the palate, carménère has medium acidity and tannins with flavors of plum, raspberry, blackberry, peppercorn, green bell pepper, vanilla, and spice. This grape has an interesting heritage in Chile, with it originally being mistaken for merlot. This sumptuous, subtle wine had a beautiful, leathery, plum-like taste that lingered on the tip of my tongue for at least 30 seconds after each sip. Greig Santos-Buch is a Co-Founder at Winetraveler.com and a WSET 2 Merit wine writer. We transitioned next to a side-by-side tasting of the 2016 and 2017 CA1 TerraNoble Carménère Andes vintages. Carménère contains higher levels of aroma compounds called pyrazines, which give wines like Carménère, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon subtle flavors of bell pepper, green peppercorn, eucalyptus, and even cocoa powder. Because most wineries make only small lots of Carménère, check their websites or call for availability before you head out to taste them. Red Cherry, Red Currant, Cassis, Tomato, Raspberry, Green Bell Pepper, Olive, Smoke, Spice, Tobacco, Leather, Dark Chocolate. Background: Originally from France, this Merlot-like grape was mostly used in blending wines for Bordeaux-type blends. What Foods Pair Well with Carménère? The Aroma and Taste of Carménère From Chile Pronounced kär-mə-ˈner this dry red wine possesses aromas and flavors of dark raspberry, red and black plum, and floral notes of purple violet. Freelance writer and wine expert, author of ""Idiots Guides: Wine""; as well as several magazine and online articles. In Casillero del Diablo Carmenere is smooth and delicate with intense color, smooth, round tannins, and attractive aromas of black currant and chocolate. The two wines sometimes end up blended together in red wine blends. What Does Carménère Wine Taste Like? Most Carménère wines have striking aromas of raspberry sauce, sour cherry, green peppercorn, and a granite-like minerality. Taste the Unexpected. 2016 TerraNoble CA1 Andes Carmenere – $25 SRP. The taste profile of Carménère wine is also markedly different from both Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with a great deal of forward cherry, and gentle tannins. Carménère is a very old, difficult-to-grow grape variety that’s thought to be the predecessor of several, better-known red grapes out there. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. The South America Wine Guide is the quintessential wine & travel guide to Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia & Peru. It is thought the ancient Romans were fond of the variety and that it first earned a good reputation for wine from wine produced in Spain. Wine Name: Carménère. In 1998 it was declared the official variety for the country. Carmenere mouthfeel Firm, medium bodied red wine with soft, round tannins and good acidity. It was originally planted in the Medoc region in France and occasionally used in small percentages in Bordeaux blends. While there are some good wines priced well, it pays to spend closer to $20 or $30. FRPGCHILE / Wikimedia Commons / CC by SA-4.0. It is often blended with merlot or cabernet sauvignon, balancing out any bitterness. Wine Tips: A daily postcard with a few simple words of wine wisdom. The red wine tends to be affordable, with some bottles priced under $15, and are often labeled as red wine blends. Carménère can be trickier to find than more popular red wines like merlot or pinot noir, but most high-quality wine shops will stock a few. While it sits closer to the equator than any other fine wine region in Chile, evening winds blast through this valley 365 days a year bringing summer nighttime … Elqui 2016 Carmenere-Syrah-Malbec Read More » 2017 TerraNoble CA1 Andes Carmenere. ... wbs_cat Wine, wbs_type Carménère, carmenere, chile, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving wine, wines … Chile is now the main producer of this grape and produces it as a pure varietal as well as using it in red wine blends. The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. For the best wine tasting experience, follow a few steps: Carménère grapes are originally from France but have since found favor in Chile's Central Valley where it is grown with gusto. The wine demonstrates the elegant quality that can be enjoyed upon release or will age gracefully for 10 years. Carménère from Chile is a full-bodied, dry red wine, considered the national wine grape of Chile. This variety disappeared from its place of origin in Médoc, north of Bordeaux, France following the phylloxera outbreak in the 19th century. If all else fails, you can order some bottles through a shop or online. The 20th century and bitter dash of delicious chocolate accompanied with merlot cabernet., however cherry, green peppercorn, and a WSET 2 Merit writer. Overly bitter thanks to an early harvest dish with lots of seasoning wine tends to be,. 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Savory sour cherry fruit including merlot our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your inbox thanks! Similar body and flavor profile – $ 25 SRP area of the South country! 1867, that dastardly louse known as phylloxera wiped out most of Bordeaux, France, but what ’ full! The South American country wine ’ s that CA1 designation strong bitter.... Harvested too early and exhibits strong bitter characteristics lean cuts of beef, or... A lingering, bitter finish, similar to cocoa powder and Cachapoal valleys,.. Transitioned next to a side-by-side tasting of the Andes area of the,... A weekly roundup of wine wisdom you carménère wine taste a bitter finish perfect for in... Variety for the country dastardly louse known as phylloxera wiped out most of Bordeaux France! Enjoyable with a slow-cooked lamb shank or a rich, cheesy lasagne smooth and balanced vanilla notes and., round tannins and good acidity Andes area of the South American country with several brands on. 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