Bordeaux’s Forgotten Grape: Exploring the Story of Carménère

In the world of wine, there are several grape varieties that have been lost and rediscovered over time. One of the most fascinating stories is that of Carménère – a grape that was thought to be extinct for over a century. This forgotten grape has a rich history and a unique flavor profile that makes it stand out from other Bordeaux varieties. In this blog post, we will explore the story of Carménère and why it is worth rediscovering. So sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine, and join us on a journey through the fascinating world of Bordeaux’s forgotten grape.

Bordeaux’s Forgotten Grape: Exploring the Story of Carménère


Bordeaux wine holds an unmatched prestige in the world of wine. Known for its exceptional wines and its flagship grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Bordeaux sets the standard for quality and tradition. However, there is a grape variety that is often overlooked, and it has a unique story – the Carménère.

Carménère is a red grape variety that is native to Bordeaux and has had an interesting journey through history. Once considered extinct for over a century, this grape variety was rediscovered in Chile in the 1990s, where it has become a star grape variety. This article will dive into the fascinating history of Carménère and its growing popularity in Chile.

Chile: The Unsung Hero in Wine Country ##

Chile is sometimes underestimated as a wine country, but in reality, it is a true gem in the wine world. Chile’s vineyards are well situated for optimal grape growing conditions, with pristine conditions and a focus on sustainable production. This has resulted from Chile having a unique position as the longest country on the planet, providing a mosaic of microclimates. The diversity of climate brings an impressive variety of grapes that they can grow.

Growing Carménère in Chile ##

Chile can grow every type of grape variety, from cooler climate grapes planted on the coast to warmer climate grapes in the foothills of the Andes. Among these varieties is the flagship grape variety of Chile, the Carménère. Carménère is a grape that can be difficult to grow properly, requiring just the right amount of cooling influences from the Pacific and the Andes. There is somewhere that has just the right conditions: the Colchagua valley.

The Colchagua valley located in central Chile is known for its perfect conditions to grow the Carménère grape variety. The valley has a unique soil composition due to its proximity to the Andes mountains, providing the essential microclimate for growing the grape variety. Carménère accounts for 8% of the total grape production in Chile, and its reputation is only increasing.

The LA pastel Grand selection Carménère 2019 Vintage ##

One wine that has been making waves in the wine industry is the LA pastel Grand selection Carménère 2019 vintage from the Rappel Valley in Chile. This wine has an almost opaque deep ruby color with aromas of black cherry, cassis, cedar box, vanilla, pencil lead, and crushed rocks. It has medium-plus body and medium-plus to high tannin levels, with alcohol levels in the medium-plus realm at 14%.

One of the unique things about the Carménère grape is its strong herbal and peppery notes, providing a spicy flavor to the wine. This makes Carménère a perfect pairing for rich, fatty meat or plant-based alternatives like impossible burgers. The wine also pairs well with spiced dishes, making it a versatile wine.

5 Unique FAQs About Carménère Wines from Chile ##

  1. What is the best temperature to drink Carménère wines?
    A: The best temperature to drink Carménère wines is between 15 to 18 Celsius degrees.

  2. What does a typical Carménère wine from Chile taste like?
    A: Carménère wines from Chile have a full-bodied taste with notes of cherries, berries, and spices.

  3. What foods pair well with Carménère wines?
    A: Carménère wines pair well with fatty meats and spicy dishes, as well as plant-based alternatives.

  4. Why is the Colchagua valley the perfect place to grow Carménère grapes?
    A: The Colchagua valley has unique soil composition and a cool microclimate, providing the perfect conditions to grow the Carménère grape variety.

  5. What is the alcohol content of Carménère wines from Chile?
    A: Carménère wines from Chile have an alcohol content that usually ranges from 13% to 14%.

Conclusion ##

Carménère is one of Bordeaux’s forgotten grape varieties, but its rediscovery in Chile has led to its increasing popularity. Chile’s perfect climate conditions provide the ideal environment for growing the Carménère grape, with the Colchagua valley being the perfect place to do so. The LA pastel Grand selection Carménère 2019 vintage is an exceptional wine that showcases this grape’s unique flavors. If you’re looking for a wine that is different from the usual Bordeaux varieties, then Carménère from Chile is a must-try.