In Celebration of Carmenere Day on November 24

The history of the Carmenère grape is a tale of rediscovery and revitalization, with its roots deeply intertwined with the viticultural landscapes of both France and Chile.  Carmenère faced near-extinction in France due to the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century. Unbeknownst to many, some vines were transported to Chile before the devastation, where they thrived in the climate and soil conditions of the Colchagua Valley. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that researchers identified Carmenère as a distinct grape variety, giving Chile a unique viticultural identity. In France, however, the grape is now a rarity, with only a few hectares dedicated to its cultivation.

Montes Purple Angel 2012
Montes Purple Angel 2012

Chile has embraced Carmenère as its signature grape, producing wines that showcase its rich and distinctive characteristics. Among the notable Carmenère wines from Chile, “Casa Silva Microterroir de los Lingues Carmenère” stands out for its bold flavours of dark fruit, chocolate, and spice, reflective of the terroir in the Colchagua Valley. Another exemplary choice is “Montes Purple Angel,” a renowned Carmenère blend that combines the grape with Petit Verdot, offering a complex and elegant wine with layers of blackberries, cherries, and a hint of vanilla. “Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère” is also a widely celebrated wine, known for its smooth tannins, ripe fruit, and a touch of green pepper, showcasing the grape’s unique personality in the Chilean wine landscape. These wines exemplify the success of Carmenère in Chile and its ability to express the distinct characteristics of the region.

Cheers to Carmenère!

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.