Carmenere has become Chile’s go-to grape. This outcast of Bordeaux found the combination of sun, soil and climate that it requires to excel on the western slopes of Chile’s Andes mountain valleys.

Carmenere is a bit of a misunderstood variety, generally offering up some rather assertive herbal elements, but that distinctive earthy/herbal quality of Carmenere is what attracts many to these wines. Back in the day, you could get this sort of complexity in Bordeaux and Napa Cabernets, but styles change. Today the tendency is towards fruitier wines that literally have their herbaceousness cooked out of them.

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