It’s Legal!-#CarmenereDay

Well, sort of. Although the grape has been around for much longer, it was mistaken for Merlot. Twenty-one years ago, they correctly identified the variety and have been adjusting the growing practices since. Like all grapes, there are expected characteristics and then there are nuances that come from a combination of terroir, climate, growing practices, winemaking and other variables.

I recently sampled a few bottles of Carmenere from Chile, courtesy of Nonni Marketing. And since today is #CarmenereDay on Twitter, it seemed the perfect day to share them. Each wine images[3]was made from grapes grown in the Colchagua Valley, one of the best known regions in Chile. There, Carmenere is second only to Cabernet Sauvignon in acreage.

Apaltagua, Gran Reserva 2013 – From start to finish, this was an enjoyable wine. Jeweled tones, great clarity. Juicy cherry and tobacco notes with smooth tannins. A red that can go from turkey to pasta, not overly complex, but interesting and a pleasure to drink. $13

images5QOM94JDCasa Silva, Los Lingues Vineyard 2013 – Nonni’s notes state that this label is one of the few brands with 100% of its vines certified under the Wines of Chile Sustainability Code. Always a plus. This was much more intense and rustic than the Apaltagua, more of what I think of with Carmenere. Rich, stewed fruit and cigar box, tobacco and cedar. Had I tasted it first, I would have paired it differently. Our vegan dinner was not quite enough but it was fun with the butternut squash and pomegranate.  $14-$21

Francois Lurton Hacienda Araucano, Alka 2011 – This wine became my husband’s birthday wine. A gem. The deepest hue of 11890432_is[2]black plum, so dense it was nearly opaque. Incredibly fragrant with notes of blackberry and vines, smoky cocoa. Brambly fruit, green and earthy, roots and stems, pepper. Intriguing, complex, delicious. We paired this with filet mignon with mushroom sauce; it worked very well together. $50

Regardless of menu or price point, Chilean Carmenere can work and wow. Priced to share, easy to pair or rich and reserve, there is something for all of our holiday meals. But well worth the risk. What are you opening for Carmenere Day?

{These wines were provided as media samples. I received no other compensation. Thoughts and opinions are my own.}

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Wine lover. Oenophile. Wanna-be-sommelier. Mom. Mommy. MA-MAAAAA!!!!!! Grocery shopper, budding nutritionist, dish scrubber, meat cutter. My love of wine started in my mid-twenties. I have no formal training, just a decent palatte and a desire to learn. And I am pretty good in the kitchen. The more I learn, the greater the desire to educate myself through articles, blogs, travel, and surrounding myself with others who like to discuss wine. When things calm down (what's that?) in my life, I may choose a formal education in the arena, but for now, I will taste, share, and taste some more. My descriptors may or may not be "correct." My pairings may wow, surprise, or may not "work." But, the best learning is through trial and error, right? Especially when the "trial" means drinking more wine. So, if you are up for a little wisdom about wine, and a lot of wine-induced wisdom, come along for the ride

3 thoughts on “It’s Legal!-#CarmenereDay

  1. I’m getting behind on all the wine holidays… so hard to keep up. Carménère is one of the original 6 Bordeaux varietals, still allowed to be used and still used, but in minuscule quantities. During my trip to China I had the Chinese wine made out of Cabernet Gernischt, which according to Jancis Robinson is actually a Carménère 🙂 Some of the Chilean Carménère wines are stunning, I agree. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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