Carmenère (car-men-AIR)

Ancient Bordeaux variety (also known in Bordeaux as grande vidure) whose parents are cabernet franc and gros cabernet. Carmenere’s half siblings are cabernet sauvignon and merlot. While virtually extinct in Bordeaux today, the grape is now widespread in Chile where it is considered the leading red and can make complex, intensely red-hued wines. The name may derive from the word carmin—”crimson” in Latin—and is a reference to the vivid red color of the variety’s leaves come harvest time. In China, carmenère is known as cabernet gernischt or cabernet shelongzhu (literally “cabernet snake pearl”).


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