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The Other Bordeaux Variety for Thanksgiving

112214aMany people drink what they like all the time while some people do not mind experimenting. For those that like Bordeaux reds, have you tried a Carmenére? There is very little of this varietal grape now planted in France, however this Bordeaux variety thrives in Chile. We received a 2011 Carmen Gran Reserva Carmenére Apalata Vineyard and wanted to know how it would do on a holiday table.

The grapes for this wine were grown in Apalta, Colchagua Valley. The wine was a blend of mostly Carmenére with a jus splash of Carignane and Tempranillo. The 14.3% alcohol wine was a dark purple to black color with a ruby rim. The aroma reminded me of earthiness, dark berry fruits and spices. On the taste there were blueberries, blackberries, licorice and tobacco. The wine had medium chewy tannins with fruit yielding to spices on the aftertaste. The wine begs for food.

When thinking about the holidays, this wine would match well with game meats and foods with earthy notes. For Thanksgiving the wine would pair well with many stuffings and dark meat from the turkey. The Carmenére would also match well with foods that have a tomato sauce base. An Internet search has this wine retailing for around $16.00.

The Carmen winery can trace its history to the middle of the 19th century. The winery was founded by Christian Lanz who named the winery after his wife. The winery is located about an hour from Santiago at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. This winery was the first winery in Chile to identify and cultivate Carmenére grapes. November 24th marks the 20th anniversary of the rediscovery of Carmenére at the Carmen Winery.



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