I like to think that Carmenère is what Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wish they could be!
While Cabernet and Merlot seldomly ring my bell, unless of course they are terribly expensive (read: beyond my budget), Carménère draws me in like a Siren every time!
Once planted alongside Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot in the Bordeaux region of Southwest France, Carménère reached near extinction after the global phylloxera pandemic. This historic red varietal is actually a predecessor to Cabernet Sauvignon! Traditionally it was used in smaller increments in the great red wines of the Medoc, due to its difficulty to develop and ripen fully in the marginal, often chilly and wet climate of Bordeaux.
Now rediscovered and making a comeback standing on its own feet, most of the Carménère plantings are found in Chile, where the vines thrive in an ideal climate.
The most aromatic of the 6 red Bordeaux varietals, Carménère always makes an impression!
San Pedro ‘1865’ Single Vineyard Carménère 2015, Maule Valley, Chile. $19
Dark ripe plum and black cassis aromas mingle with notes of ripe bell pepper, crushed gravel and polished leather. Smooth silky tannins linger on the palate.
A wonderful New World expression of Bordeaux and an exceptional value!