This is one of the original six varietals of the famous Bordeaux wine (which is a blended red wine). The history of this delicious grape is an extensive one, and one I was able to share with my parents tonight.
This was one of the ancient European varieties. Carménère is considered to be the antecedent to the more popularly known grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, some in the wine world consider this grape to be “a long-established clone of Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Originally planted in the Mèdoc region of Bordeaux, France. Now, it is nearly impossible to find this varietal in France where the grape originated from because of phylloxera plague in 1867 nearly destroyed all the vineyards in Europe. This plague afflicted the Carménère grapevines that for many years the grape was presumed extinct!
Now you can find it on the shelf in locations like Chili, Italy, Washington, and California.
Taste: Carménère wine tends to have striking aromas of raspberry, sour cherry, and green peppercorn. When you are trying this wine on a budget, you can expect to taste Carménère wines with fruity red berry aromas and tart flavors of raspberry.
In fact, Carménère has many similarities in terms of body and texture to Merlot (which is why it was mistaken as Merlot for so mant years). I really enjoy this varietal and have loved sharing it with my fellow wine drinkers and educating them about all the wonderful wines of the world!