Introducing: 2022 Provenance Carménère

We are beyond excited to announce the highly anticipated arrival of our new grape on the block, and the newest addition to our growing wine portfolio... 2022 Provenance Carménère! 

Never heard of a Carménère before? Well, allow us to introduce you. 

At A Glance: 

Carménère (pronounced Car-men-nair), is a red wine variety that captivates with its powerful red fruit flavours of plum, raspberry, and berries. As it graces the palate, this medium-bodied wine, reveals intriguing herbaceous characteristics, featuring hints of green pepper. When fully ripe, Carménère delights with its fresh black fruit flavours and distinct herbal notes.

Carménère is known to be similar in flavour to Cabernet Franc and Merlot. 

Infographic: common characteristics of Carménère
A Fascinating History: 

Originating in Bordeaux, France, Carménère emerged as a highly regarded noble variety. However, in 1860, a devastating phylloxera plague swept through commercial grapevines worldwide, leading many to believe that this destructive insect pest had caused the Carménère variety to become extinct.

In the mid-1800s, Chilean vineyards unknowingly planted Carménère, mistaking it for Merlot due to their similar-shaped leaves. For over 130 years, Carménère remained forgotten in the wine world until 1994 when Jean-Michel Boursiquot, a French ampelographer specialising in grape botany, conducted research in Chile. Boursiquot noticed that certain Merlot vines took much longer to ripen than others. Intrigued, he undertook extensive research and conducted a series of DNA tests on the vines. To his astonishment, Boursiquot discovered that approximately 50% of the "Merlot" vines in Chile were actually the long-lost variety, Carménère.

The slow ripening process of the deep red-coloured fruit is ideally suited for long Indian Summers, meaning it thrives in Chile's warm and dry growing environment. Chile is now considered to be the new birthplace of Carménère and the variety is one of the most important grape varieties of the country. 

Comparison of Carménère & Merlot leaves

Carménère is a rare grape variety in Australia, and we here at Witches Falls feel privileged to be able to source this lesser-known grape varietal from the Riverland region. It gives us a unique opportunity to showcase this exceptional and delicious variety.

2022 Provenance Carménère

Lavish, smooth, and captivating. 

Provenance Carménère will entice your senses with its alluring colour, aromas and flavours. This full- bodied red reveals powerful notes of raspberries, ripe plum, and subtle herbaceous characters. On the palate, flavours of luscious blackberry, rich chocolate, and a touch of smoky tobacco culminate in a smooth and velvety finish.

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Carménère & Food

With its soft tannins and slightly smoky, spicy character, Carménère works best with lean, meaty foods. Think barbecued or roasted meats like chicken and beef or heartier vegetables like eggplant or mushrooms. 

Or if you're planning to enjoy a glass with a cheeseboard, Carménère complements a range of cheeses. Pair it with full-flavoured cheeses like aged cheddar with black pepper or smoked cheese to enhance the subtle smoky notes. Additionally, Carménère beautifully harmonises with soft, strongly flavoured cheeses such as blue or camembert, elevating the natural characteristics of both.

Carménère possesses plenty of acidity and punchy flavours, which bring to mind the phrase - what grows together goes together! Chilean dishes are a no-brainer as they are rich in meat and spices. Try it with beef empanadas (pictured), or pastel de choclo, a dish made from sweetcorn and beef. A Mexican mole is also a brilliant option. 

Chilean Beef Empanadas

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1 comment

This sounds incredible! Love a good story about lost grapes and magical rediscoveries. Can’t wait to sample this beauty soon.

Emma July 10, 2023

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