Carmenere: What should you know?

The story of the Carmenere grape is fascinating. It started in Bordeaux and has played a significant role in establishing Chile’s viticultural scene. The Carmenere grape and its silky yet savory bottles are among its greatest unsung heroes. This is especially true if you’re looking to find something similar to New World cabernet or Merlot with a lower price.

What is Carmenere?

Carmenere, a red grape variety, is widely grown all over the globe. It is well-known for producing wines with high acidity, dark fruit flavors and approachable, smooth tannins.

Where does Carmenere come from?

Carmenere is a Bordeaux grape originally from the Medoc region. However, it has gained fame throughout the world, especially in Chile. The little amount of Carmenere left in Bordeaux is used almost exclusively in cabernet– or Merlot-dominant blended. In South America, however, the grape is usually vinified by itself.

How is Carmenere made?

Carmenere can either be used to blend grapes or made into single-varietal wines depending on its origin. The final wine’s flavor will vary depending on the style of the grape, whether it is a blend or monovarietal, as well as the place and method of vinification. Carmenere-dominant wines are generally medium-bodied and supple. They tend to have pleasant levels of acidity and dark fruit flavors with smoky bell-pepper undertones and soft tannins.

Carmenere is a vine that thrives in both warmer and longer growing seasons. The grape may show vegetal, herbaceous notes similar to Merlot if picked too early. Carmenere usually buds later than Merlot and yields smaller yields.

What does Carmenere taste like?

Carmenere is often compared with Merlot because of its soft mouthfeel, dark fruit flavors and hints of smoky, herbaceous overtones. Carmenere is a great choice for those who enjoy medium-bodied reds that are smooth and balanced with savory nuances.

What are some good food pairings with Carmenere?

Carmenere’s bright acidity, smoky undertones and great taste make it a perfect wine to enjoy with grilled food, including red meats, vegetables and veggie burgers. Its vegetal nuances make it ideal for herb-heavy dips, sides, roast poultry, lamb, root veggies, and many other dishes.

 

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