These days Carmenère is a grape varietal that many people may associate with Chile, although it is found all over the new world. Carmenère made it's way to Chile from Bordeaux, France, where it was, historically, the sixth permitted grape in the red blends. Upon it's arrival in Chile, many early producers identified the grape as Merlot, and there was some confusion as to why Chilean Merlot was so good. Because it was Carmenère! Not to say there is anything wrong with Merlot, but Carmenère from Chile is amazeballs. Silky, velvety, textured, red fruits, berries, and spice are prominent flavors. Chile is blessed with natural barriers; the Andes Mountains, the Atacama desert, and the ocean prevent pests like Phylloxera, and allows for incredible old vines to thrive. Another great feature of Carmenère from Chile is that they are very approachably priced, frequently between $12-$20 per bottle it is an opportunity to try a great wine without taking a big risk. Of course, we can always create a class either about Chilean wines or specifically Carmenère.
We have Carmenère growing in the United States as well. I have seen it in Washington, and in select California vineyards. I try not to plug specific brands on my posts, but I will always share suggested brands with subscribers.