Chilean Carménère wine is a relative of the more well-known Merlot, but don’t expect the same smooth taste! It has a distinctive bite and is best known for its peppery, herbaceous appeal. Carménère wine is perfect with herbed lamb dishes, smoky bacon, dark leafy greens (try a kale and bacon salad with blue cheese!), roasted and grilled peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and Mexican and Thai cuisine. As versatile and as rich as Carménère wine is, it has an equally compelling history.
Here are some fun facts to savor:
Carménère was born in France – and it died in France. Grown in the Bordeaux region, Carménère was used as a blending grape. But it was difficult to grown in the French climate, and after the Great French Wine Blight of 1857, which devastated most of Europe’s grapes, the Carménère was thought to be extinct.
A new climate helped Carménère flourish. Luckily for wine lovers, a few Carménère cuttings were imported to Chile just before the Wine Blight. Planted in Santiago, the grape thrived with the hot days and dry climate. At first, it was used as it had been traditionally: as a blending grape.
Chilean Carménère is introduced. Chilean winemakers realized that their Merlot had a distinctive – in fact, very distinctive! – flavor. This was because they were mixing it with at least 50% Carménère. They soon saw the beauty in the grape and created a single varietal wine with cherry, blackberry, and spice flavors and a hint of bitterness to finish. Carménère is now considered Chile’s grape!
Carménère has high levels of pyrazines. These are aroma compounds which infuse Chilean Carménère wine with subtle flavors of bell pepper, eucalyptus, green peppercorn, and cocoa. These pyrazines can also display as jalapeno, mint, black plum, kiwi, and passionfruit.
Natura’s Carménère wine uses 100% organic grapes. Enjoy an intense red with a perfect balance of fruit and oak. Cherry aromas with hints of chocolate and spice make this a varietal that you will be happy to serve to guests – or enjoy as you watch the sunset.