This Monday, 23 November, is Carménère Day, which sounds like a great excuse for a party! So why not get ahead and celebrate the weekend with a glass or two of this very quaffable red?
This deep-coloured red wine pairs well with any red meat dish, including casseroles and barbecues, as well as spicy food, like Indian and Mexican food. If you want to chill out at the end of a long week, how about pizza or Chilli con carne (or Chilli sin carne) with a glass of Carménère?
The typical aromas and flavours you’ll find in a ripe Carménère include spices, such as black pepper, red and black fruit, herbal or vegetable notes like peppers, and smoky qualities. Depending on its level of oak-ageing, it may also have chocolate, coffee and leathery notes too.
Here are a few really great examples:
Tabalí Reserva Carménère 2012, Limarí Valley
A smooth, elegant example with a nicely aromatic nose with very well rounded tannins. Mouth-filling, smooth and intense with a pleasant, fruity finish.
Ventisquero Grey Carménère 2012, Maipo Valley
Very vibrant, expressive Carménère with classic rich fruity nose of blueberries and black cherries with pepper and spices. Nice, smooth tannins and a pleasant, well-rounded mouth.
Caliterra Tributo Carménère 2013, Colchagua Valley
This is pure comfort drinking for a Friday night! The nose reveals lots of fruit, including blackberries and cherries, together with some rich spices. It’s like a delicately spiced fruits of the forest pie. The mouth is warm, enveloping and smooth with lots of fruit and a good finish.
Undurraga T.H. Carménère 2013, Cachapoal Valley
Herbal and spicy notes, followed by lots of fruit, such as raspberries and blueberries and some notes from the oak-ageing, like dark chocolate. A very pleasant, medium-bodied wine with a fresh, juicy mouth feel, smooth tannins and a long finish.
Koyle Royale Carménère 2012, Colchagua Valley (Biodynamic wine)
This Carménère packs a punch; black pepper, cassis, cacao, a touch of the farmyard and slight minerality in the nose. Nice ripe tannins, spice, delectable acidity, lovely mouthfeel with just that touch of ashtray.
Apaltagua Gran Reserva Envero 2013, Colchagua Valley
Upfront vanilla and cinnamon followed by red fruit and blackcurrants. Very elegant, ripe tannins, good acidity, creamy with a touch of ashtray in the mouth.
So what’s your favourite Carménère?