RKS Wine: Carmenére Confusion

For 145 years Carmenère in Chile was thought to be Merlot! It was only in the mid 1990’s that what was thought to be Merlot was actually identified as Carmenère. Although more Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is planted some say it is Chile’s signature grape. Originally a Bordeaux grape it was wiped out by disease there and not much of it was replanted.

Black cherry in colour with tinges of purple. As for bouquet it is understandable it might be mistaken for Merlot as it has a lushness to it. There is blackberry jam, blueberries and cassis. There is a bit of Late Bottled Vintage Port to it indicative of richness. On the palate this is a smoothie and there are few tannins to get tangled up with. There is not a distinct fruit to identify with so it could be said to be pleasing to many palates. There is some blueberry, milk chocolate, licorice just lazing in the background. A real diplomatic wine as it simply powers on without offending anyone. Short finish. Given its lushness the wine could have fallen prey to over-ripeness so careful harvesting required. As for food great versatility. It could suit lamb, beef, goat, tomato sauce-based dishes and perhaps even grilled octopus. (Montgras Antu Carmenère 2019, DO Peumo, Valle de Cachapoal, Viña MontGras, Chile, $18.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 632752, 750 mL, 14.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).

Wine drinker profile: One who prefers a rich and plush wine that is easy drinking yet has no overwhelming characteristics that might be perceived as off-putting. It might also suit Portheads as there is a mild Port like influence on the wine.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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