Grape of the Month…Carmenère.
Carmenère…pronounced CAR-MEN-YARE is considered an original ‘6’ Bordeaux grape. It produces intense fruitiness and can have a distinct anise finish which is very unique to few varietals. Carmenère is a very special and underrated wine. It has been in the category of a blending grape and now stands on its’ own merits and has seen a resurgence not unlike Petit Verdot. Here are a few tidbits on the Carmenère grape:
- Thought to be French Merlot in Chile until the 1990’s and now considered their ‘signature’ grape
- Virtually extinct in France after the phylloxere invasion in the 1860’s
- is a member of the Cabernet family of grapes
- the name Carmenère is thought to originate from the French word for crimson (carmin) referring to the colour of of the vines’ folliage in the autumn
- also known as Grand Vidure
This is a varietal worth exploring. It can stand on its own and is no longer just a blending grape. I look forward to seeing more of this varietal on the wine shelves and in my wine racks in the near future.