June 28, 2022 by
Maytte Rivera

Originally from Bordeaux, France, Carménère is one of the six traditional red grape varieties allowed in the region’s blended wines.  In the 1860’s, Europe’s vineyards were devasted by the phylloxera, a microscopic louse that attacks the grapevine starting at the roots, and Carménère was thought to be almost extinct.  Fortunately, cuttings of this grape made it across the Atlantic Ocean to Chile, where it quickly adapted to the valleys extended sunshine hours and limited rainfall.  Chilean winemakers confused these cuttings with Merlot, and it was not until the 1990’s that DNA analysis certified that it was in fact the French grape Carménère

This medium body grape is regarded for its concentrated plum and berry flavors, wrapped around unique vegetal aromas of green bell peppers and spicy peppercorn.  In Chile’s Central Valley, Miguel Torres produces “Santa Digna”, a 100% Carménère Reserve that has been aged in used oak barrels for six months and expresses the traditional flavor profile of this grape while being ready to drink.  Even though most plantings are found in Chile’s Central Valley, small quantities can be found in northern Italy, California and Washington state, where it is recognized for its ability to bring dark fruit aromas and acidity to red wine blends.

Carménère’s vegetal characteristics make it a perfect partner for roasted meats, beef stews, and vegetable-based dishes. Enjoy this unique grape with your next BBQ and travel to Chile with your glass!

Discover our selection of Carménère

Author: Maytte Rivera

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