Carmenere is probably the grape most closely associated with Chile in the minds of wine geeks. It is an outcast from Bordeaux that has found a home in Chile. Only identified in 1994 (before then it was known as Chilean Merlot), Carmenere produces a lovely wine that combines some of the softness of Merlot with the complexity of Cabernet Franc and the depth of flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon.
In some cases, Carmenere is marked with a pronounced green character that recalls tomato leaves and bell pepper. Coming from naturally occurring compounds called pyrazines, these leafy green aromas and flavors can really set Carmenere apart when they are judiciously balanced by rich fruit. Koyle is a new operation taking advantage of biodynamically farmed hillside vineyard to produce one of Chile’s best Carmenere wines.
Must try wine: 2009 Koyle Royale Carmenere