Carménere has recently been rediscovered in Chilé and now you can find it on just about any retail shelf. But what is it and how did it gain it's comeback?
Carménere originated in the Medoc region of Bordeaux and is thought to be one of the original six red grapes. However, it's not rarely found in Bordeaux but rather in Chilé. When the vines were transferred to Chilé, they were planted with the Merlot grapes and was thought to be Merlot for decades. Since it was really another varietal mixed in with the Merlot, Chilean Merlot was unlike any other. It wasn't until 1994, when a researcher found that some of those grapes were actually Carménere. Since then it's be labeled as such and gaining popularity.
I opened a bottle of Casa Rivas Gran Reserva Carménere recently and truly enjoyed it. Very easy to drink on its own but easily paired with many foods. Big, bright fruit with a medium finish, this wine was a perfect sipper to enjoy in front of the tv. This wine comes from the Chilean region of Maipo, closest region to Santiago.
Curious? Pick up a bottle of Carménere and taste for yourself!