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Carmenere

Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick...

Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère has found great success in Chile, far from its birthplace of Bordeaux. Although Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape in Bordeaux, it is now virtually extinct there, though it has been thriving since the mid-nineteenth century in Chile. Originally mistaken for Merlot, it is now successful of its own accord and plantings continue to increase. It is bottled both on its own and as part of Bordeaux-inspired blends.

In the Glass

If not fully ripe, Carménère is often marked by a green, herbaceous character (think green bell pepper and green peppercorn), and expresses flavors of red berry and black pepper when just ripe. With additional hangtime at the end of harvest, it is reminiscent more of blackberry, blueberry, and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and soy sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Carménère can easily overpower lighter fare, but makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a richer sauce such as mole.

Sommelier Secret

Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.

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14 Items
  • Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere 2015
    Carmenere from Chile
    • JS92
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Tarapaca Gran Reserva Carmenere 2015
    Carmenere from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS92
    • D91
    • WS90
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  • TerraNoble Gran Reserva Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Maule Valley, Chile
    • JS91
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Perez Cruz Limited Edition Carmenere 2015
    Carmenere from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS91
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    25
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  • Los Vascos Grande Reserve Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • W&S91
    • JS91
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  • Koyle Gran Reserva Carmenere 2012
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS91
    • WE90
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  • Tinga Reserve Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS91
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • De Martino Legado Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Chile
    • JS90
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Montes Alpha Series Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS90
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Rapel Valley, Chile
    • RP90
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Primus Carmenere 2011
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • WW90
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
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  • Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere 2013
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Carmenere 2013
    Carmenere from Rapel Valley, Chile
    • WW90
    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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    11 99
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  • Calcu Carmenere 2014
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS90
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    15
    12 99
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