Australian Carmenere wine regional and flavour profile
Carmenere taste and aromas
Cherry, raspberry, plum, and herbaceous notes with characteristics of smoke, spice and earthy notes, reminiscent of dark chocolate, tobacco, and leather.
Firm, medium bodied red wine with soft, round tannins and good acidity.
Cellaring potential of Carmenere
The wine is best to drink while it is young.
Facts about Carmenere
- Carmenere was originally a Bordeaux variety, thought to be all but extinct until tests revealed that many growers in Chile were preserving it, inadvertently, thinking the grapes in their vineyards were Merlot. The truth was discovered in the mid-1990s, along with the realization of how well-suited Carmenère was to Chile’s climate. The grape now makes some of the country’s most distinctive wines. It is also grown in Italy and California, and a tiny amount remains in Bordeaux.
- The variety was once popular in the Medoc District in Bordeaux, however it fell from favour because of its susceptibility to the disease Coulure.
- Carmenere ripens mid to late season, along with varieties such as Grenache, Nebbiolo and Petit Verdot.
- While still often blended with over varieties, there are plenty of delicious single varietal wines. These tend to be full-bodied and similar to Merlot, but with a greater intensity of dark fruit and a peppery, spicy character.
- A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name “Carmenere” originates from the French word for crimson (carmin), which refers to the brilliant crimson colour of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall.
Australian regions that produce Carmenere
Australia has small plantings of Carmenere in Geelong, King Valley, Murray Darling, Clare Valley, Western Plains and Adelaide Hills.
Though it was once popular in the Medoc district of Bordeaux in France, it is rarely found there, and the vast majority of this wine is produced in Chile where it is capable of producing high quality red wine.
Carmenere wine and food pairings
Carmenere goes terrifically with food. It’s a highly versatile red grape that goes well with a wide variety of dishes, especially spicy and savoury ones. Its natural fruity spiciness pairs well with Indian curry or spicy Mexican dishes.