Pronunciations – “car-men-nair” Carmenere originated in France, more closely in Bordeaux and it is still planted there although in smaller quantities. It is used mostly in blends in the Medoc region, however it has found a new home in Chile. This New World country produces quite a lot of Carmenere and it tends to have a unique style there. It has a purple to ruby red color when young and it is medium in intensity. It has a lot of synonyms in Bordeaux, such as Grande Vidure, Carmenelle, Carbouet and Carbonet.

Carmenère Tasting Notes

Primary Notes – Red fruit (Raspberry, Red Cherry, Red Plum), Herbaceous (Green Bell Pepper, Mint) Secondary Notes – Oak (Vanilla, Cloves), MLF (Butter,Cream) Tertiary Notes – when aged it develops leather, tobacco, chocolate, coffee. Body – Medium body Palate – Sweetness – Dry; Acidity- Medium to High; Tannin – Medium; Typical ABV% – 11.5-14%

Carmenère Styles

Carmenere is usually made as a still dry red wine and a still dry rose. Most often it is vinified as red wine and there are differences between an Old World Carmenere and a New World Carmenere. Both styles are oaked to give a subtle spice to the wine and to make the texture rounder. When produced in the Old World it tends to have a bit more earthy aromas and a higher acidity with green bell pepper on the nose. When made in the New World, mostly in Chile, it has an expressive nose with lots of fruit aromas and a characteristic herbaceous, minty aroma. It has a bit of butter and cream coming from MLF and sweet spices from oak.

Carmenère Classifications

Carmenere is today mostly grown in Chile and in Italy quite a lot. Chile doesn’t have an appellation system like in France or Italy but it is divided in winemaking regions. The most notable regions for Carmenere in Chile are: -Colchagua Valley -Maipo Valley In Italy it is grown mostly in the northeast of the country: -Colli Berici DOC -Friuli Venezia Giulia DOC -Maremma Toscana DOC -Montello DOCG

When To Drink Carmenère

Carmenere is an everyday wine which can be paired with lighter dishes and those more rich and acidic. Tannins are not overwhelming and the acidity is quite refreshing. Pair Carmenere with chicken, pork, turkey and lamb. Carmenere Serving Temperature – 60-64 ºF ( 15-18ºC)

Best Years To Drink Carmenère

Carmenere tends to age well and the wine just gets more complex with age. Keep your Carmenere cellared for at least ten years if you are keen on aging it. In youth it will be quite fruit forward and herbaceous, with the fruit being ripe and sometimes a bit jammy. With age this will move into dried fruit aromas and it will develop an eucalyptus mint aroma alongside leather, tobacco, chocolate.

Carmenère Average Prices

Most of Carmenere that you will find on the market is bulk wine from Chile. These wines are not expensive and are not really high quality. Finding a good Carmenere can be difficult but when you do expect to spend between 15$ and 40$. There are always those that are sold for even a 100$ but these are exceptional wines.

Carmenère Nutrition Facts

Like most medium bodied wines, Carmenere has about 120 calories per glass and about 4 grams of carbohydrates. A bottle would be around 600 calories and 24 grams of carbohydrates.

Fun Facts About Carmenère

Carmenere was widely planted in Bordeaux until the outbreak of Phylloxera. When it was brought to Chile it was thought to be Merlot. This accidental move to Chile is actually what saved Carmenere from total destruction. Carmenere is often used in Italy as support to Bordeaux blends.
Carmenere Food Pairing
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Carménère is one of the classic Bordeaux blending grapes, typically used to add color to a red blend. It’s not massively popular in its home region, comprising just a few hundred acres of vineyards. There are significant plantings in regions … Read More