Carmenere is Chile’s quintessential red grape variety. You don’t know it? This one is worth getting to know, as it delivers spectacular, full-bodied reds at very attractive price points! We have pulled our review of wines from this grape variety directly from our recently-released AG Wine for Chile upgrade.
Carmenère is Chile’s fifth largest production fine grape variety, comprising 10% of red grape vineyard planted area and 7% of total. Originally from France’s Bordeaux, this late-ripening variety performs exceptionally well in Chile’s dry, warm climates, as it requires these conditions to reach full ripeness. Further, since carmenère production has faded in France, Chile is virtually the sole source of wines made from this special grape.
Carmenère is definitely one of our favorites. At its best, it delivers smooth full-bodied wines, packed with huge fruit and savory, spicy notes; flavors include herbs, bell pepper, smoke, coffee, blackcurrants, leather, and tobacco. Acidity levels are low and it is best consumed young. While there are certainly varietally-produced versions, carmenère-based wines often incorporate small amounts of other grape varieties — cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot — to provide structure and acidity.
The best regions for excellent carmenère are Cachapoal (Peumo sub-area), Colchagua (Apalta sub-area), Maipo (Isla de Maipo sub-area), and Maule (Cauquenes and Empedrado sub-areas).
AG Wine for Chile’s wines is now available! AG Wine now supports Chile’s wines, profiling all of the country’s winemaking regions, grape varieties, appellations, and vintages. Best of all: It’s a FREE upgrade for existing AG Wine for iPhone and iPad owners!