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Carménère is a dark-skinned grape variety that originally hails from the vineyards of Bordeaux, but it has found a particularly suitable home in Chile. The variety is known for producing fine, deeply colored red wines, with the attractive meaty plumpness of Merlot and the gently herbaceous, cedary notes of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a late ripening variety and needs high levels of sunshine and a warm summer to reach its full potential. DNA studies have shown that Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot all have Cabernet Franc as a parent. Carménère has a long history in Bordeaux, but it was largely abandoned in the region after the arrival of the phylloxera louse in the late 19th century. Today, Chile is the main producer of Carménère wines and has incorporated the vine's memorable story into its wine marketing. The variety is also being grown in other regions around the world such as New Zealand and Northern Italy.
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