Tasted: Carmenère

By / Wine + Drinks / April 10th, 2014 / 3

Once widely cultivated in Bordeaux, today, Carmenère has found its place in the vineyards of Chile. The variety was “discovered” in the South American country in 1994 where it had previously been mistaken for late-ripening Merlot. Since then, Chile’s wine industry has worked diligently to produce world-class wines and promote them globally. Other wine producing countries have had their own success with variety, including Canada.

 

Arboleda Carmenère 2008

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg

Editor Rating: Excellent

$19

Colchagua Valley, Chile

Review Summary:

Bolstered by 10% Syrah, this red bursts with fragrant red berries, spicy grilled peppers and a touch of vanilla. Tangy acidity, soft tannins and sweet ripe berries characterize the well-balanced palate. Earthy native-to-Chile boldo tea leaf throughout adds lingering complexity. Roast some root vegetables.

 

Carmen Gran Reserva Carmenère 2009

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg

Editor Rating: Very Good

$22

Apalta, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Review Summary:

Characteristic Apalta qualities for Chile’s signature grape: ripe, rich and concentrated, accompanied by chocolate notes. Fragrant smoky tobacco and spicy paprika lead to flavourful sweet blueberry and black fruits. A dry, warm cassis finish follows. Match with chicken rubbed with herbs and spices.

 

Black Hills Carmenère 2009

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg

Editor Rating: Excellent

$50

Okanagan, Canada

Review Summary:

This wine has earned a cult following. Tobacco scents shoot out of the glass, followed by wild raspberry and white pepper. Intense chocolate-covered cherry flavour smacks your palate, cushioned by ripe tannins. Leather, cedar, blackcurrant and edgy jalapeño lingers. Match with marinated beef.

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