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Carmenere

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All about Carménère

What is Carménère?

Carménère is a red wine grape that originates from Spain. Carménère wine gets its name from the word "crimson," which represents the color the vine leaves show during fall. The invasion of the Phylloxera pest in France threatened its existence, but Chile has been hospitable enough to accommodate and provide it with a warm climate in which to thrive. Carménère wines constitute Chile’s Bordeaux-style red blends. They have strong pepper notes, which people sometimes confuse with cabernet sauvignon. Carménère mostly comes in a dry style with alcohol percentages ranging from 14% to 15% ABV and fine tannins.

Carménère wine flavors and aromas

Carménère has an intense inky violet color. It has a spicy and herbal taste coupled with rich red fruit flavors of blackberry, raspberry, pomegranate and cherry. Savory versions of Carménère red wine have aroma flavors similar to green peppercorn, fresh green bell pepper and smoke. Long-time drinkers of oak-aging red wine flavors like Maquis Carménère associate its taste with pepper, coffee, chocolate and tar. You can differentiate an average Carménère bottle from a good one if it has a sharp and unpleasant pepper note, which results from the use of under-ripe grapes. A good bottle exhibits more of a fruity note. Carménère medium-bodied red wine is rich in mellow tannins and fruitiness, making it best drunk as a young wine.

Carménère food pairings

The wine has a natural acidity, and marriage between it and higher-acidity foods like Cuban-style roast pork never goes wrong. Carménère blends well with roasted meats, from chicken to beef. Barbecue or lamb sauces also form a nice combination with this savory wine. Serve Carménère between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and in any universal wine glass.

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