12 Facts You Didn’t know About Carménère

24 Nov, 2015

  1. Merlot and Carménère were often confused but never thought to be identical.
  2. Carménère is one of the oldest grape varieties used to produce Bordeaux wine.
  3. The original name for Bordeaux was Biturica, which historians believe was also an early name for what we now call Carménère.
  4. Carménère is used as a blending grape in Tuscany under the name of “Predicato di Biturica”
  5. Carménère is a late ripening variety most successful in the warmest and sunniest climates.
  6. The variety actually fares far better in Chile’s terroir than it ever did in Bordeaux. Because in Chile, the growing season is longer and drier, enabling Carménère to attain full ripeness.
  7. This grape takes its name from carmin, which means crimson, due to the crimson colour the leaves take before the leaf fall in autumn
  8. Although Carménère is officially permitted in Bordeaux, it is hard to find today. However, it can be found in Pauillac at the prestigious Chateau  Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Clerc Milon.
  9. Carménère wines possesses the structure and concentration that enable it to improve with time in the bottle.
  10. Carménère has fairly sweet tannins, which makes it approachable at a younger age.
  11. Genetic research has shown that Carménère may be distantly related to Merlot.
  12. Before its true identity was established in Chile, Carménère was called “Merlot Peumal”, which refers to a valley south of Santiago.

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