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Carmenere also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym, is a crimson red varietal of grape that is used for making deep red wines and also used for the purpose of blending, similar to Pinot Verdot. The wine made from this variety of robust grape that is native to Medoc region of Bordeaux, France, belongs to the Cabernet family with characteristics similar to the Cabernet wines. A medium body with softer tannins and red fruit berry and spice like flavors are the main characteristics of THE WINE.

Origin of Carmenere Wine

Carmenere and its origin have many claims. It is believed to be the antecedent and a long standing clone of today’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The name of this grape is thought to be an alias of ‘Vidure’, which is the local name in Bordeaux for Cabernet Sauvignon. Another version to the story is that THE wine was first processed in Biturica, today’s Bordeaux, and praised by the Romans. Then by mid 19th century, the grape vanished totally from France because of Phylloxera plague. However, with time and because of the similarity to Merlot, it became possible to regrow the vine of the grape varietal.

Regions Producing the Wine

This wine is majorly grown in Chile and Italy these days with a few hundred acres of the vine being cultivated in France as well. The varietal is also grown in Australia and New Zealand in small amounts and some parts of America like the Walla Walla Valley of Washington and California have also started cultivating this grape varietal.

Preparing Carmenere Wine

Carmenere is a robust grape varietal that has a high juice to skin ratio, making it less astringent than Cabernet Sauvignon. However, this grape requires a higher temperature to ripen, which means that the grape needs to be left longer on the vine and because of this the cold climates of Bordeaux have not been favorable to grow the varietal in large numbers. But the wine that has a flavor which is a cross between Merlot and Cabernet Franc, soon found favor with the South American people, as the climatic conditions in this country were appropriate to grow the grape varietal.

Food Pairing of the Wine

This grape varietal grown in Chile, is milder compared to the original grape that was first cultivated in Bordeaux. Because of this, the wine prepared here is not that potent enough to be consumed as is. However, it works well as a table wine and pairs well with vegetarian foods such as stuffed bell peppers, and vegetarian lasagna.

Wine Trivia

Carmenere has around 60 clones today that have been developed by the researchers in Chile.