Dark, full-bodied and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère found great success with its move to Chile in the mid-nineteenth century. Far from its birthplace of Bordeaux, Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape there. But the variety went a bit undercover, impressing wine lovers until 1994 when many plantings previously thought to be Merlot, were profiled as Carménère. Regardless of what vine variety it actually was, these have proven successful and plantings continue to increase.
In the Glass
Carménère can express a bit of herbaceous character or black pepper but in warm climates or with additional hangtime before harvest, it makes wines reminiscent of blackberry, blueberry and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke and soy sauce.
Carménère makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a mole sauce or spice rub.
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.
- Cabernet Sauvignon319
- Pinot Noir211
- Bordeaux Red Blends156
- Other Red Blends125
- Rhône Blends69
- Tuscan Blends17
- Other Red Wine13
- Petite Sirah9
- Cabernet Franc7
- Nero d'Avola4
- Petit Verdot3
Tarapaca Gran Reserva Carmenere 2015Carmenere from Maipo Valley, Chile
Haras de Pirque Reserva Carmenere 2015Carmenere from Maipo Valley, Chile
Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Carmenere 2015Carmenere from Rapel Valley, Chile
Alcance Gran Reserva Carmenere 2015Carmenere from Chile