Carmenere, the iconic grape of Chile has a fascinating history. It was originally an important component grape in the wines of Bordeaux, utilized for the richness in colour and flavour it imparted. Grown under ideal conditions, it produces a wine with the attractive meaty plumpness of Merlot and the gently herbaceous cedary notes of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Prior to the great phylloxera infestation (plant louse) in Europe in the late 19th century, Carmenere was widely planted and paired with Cabernet Franc as the principal varietals in Bordea2ux wines. As vineyards were re-planted with American rootstock (that is immune to phylloxera), Carmenere was largely abandoned as it did not graft well to the foreign rootstock.
Fortunately, some enterprising Chilean winemakers had brought Carmenere to Chile before the arrival of phylloxera. However, they believed that they were planting Merlot, not Carmenere. It was not until 1994 that the extensive plantings of Merlot in Chile were determined, through genetic testing, to in fact be Carmenere. It was an unconscious mistake that saved Carmenere from extinction. The variety is now Chile’s premium grape.
On offer this week is the 2013 Vinedos Terranoble Carmenere Reserva Terroir. This single vineyard wine is made from 95% Carmenere, complemented by 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is aged for ten months in a combination of stainless steel and French and American oak barrels, followed by an additional eight months of aging in the bottle prior to release.
The 2013 Vinedos Terranoble Carmenere Reserva Terroir is available for immediate delivery. A delicious, easy to drink wine suitable for a variety of foods. To order, simply e-mail or call 416-463-4677.