August 17, 2011
A review of Tierra Salvaje Carmenere 2010 and the Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix.
Carmenere is Chile’s signature red wine varietal. Brought to South America from France’s Bordeaux region (where it was used primarily as a blending grape), Carmenere was first planted near Santiago in the 1800s where it was believed to be a clone of merlot. For many years the two varietals were harvested together which gave Chilean “merlot” a significantly different taste than merlots grown elsewhere. It took until the 1990s for the Chileans to recognize Camernere as a separate varietal and to appreciate its unique flavors. Rather than limiting it as a blending component, Chilean winemakers have embraced Carmenere, featuring it in some remarkably enjoyable and distinctive wines.