Carménère: Pride of Chile
Carménère and Chile make such a great match, said Michael Austin in the Chicago Tribune. The country has carried on a love affair with the grape since science revealed it’s distinct from merlot, and today no place else makes as much wine from the cabernet franc offshoot. That said, carménère is merlot-like: with a purple hue, “silky” mouthfeel, and notes of plum, dark cherry, and cocoa.
2015 Lapostolle Grand Selection ($14). This “mouthwatering” Rapel Valley wine combines spice notes with “bursts of juicy red and dark fruit.”
2013 Los Vascos Grande Reserve ($18). In this winning Colchagua Valley carménère, flavors of cherry, licorice, blackberry, and black pepper meet “a sustained spicy finish.”
2012 Vina Valdivieso of Chile Single Vineyard ($25). “Rich, sweet dark fruits join mocha, menthol, and a touch of spice” in this Cachapoal Valley beauty. ■