Co-op Irresistible Chilean Carménère, Maipo, Chile 2017 £7, Co-op Chilean winemakers can be surprisingly self-deprecating about the wines they make from carménère, the grape variety that emerged, almost by stealth, on the Chilean wine scene in the mid-1990s. Winemakers in the country discovered that many of the vines they had thought were merlot were in fact carménère. That explained why Chilean ‘merlot’ was so different to other examples. And, given that carménère was rare elsewhere, even in its original home of Bordeaux, it gave the Chileans the chance to make something different. It has taken producers a while to learn how to make the most of this unexpected gift, but wines, such as the Co-op’s winningly vibrant, fresh currant and black cherry-filled new addition, show the best are beginning to master it.
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