2019 Irresistible Carménère Wine review (Coop £7)
In the 1980s Chilean Merlot became very popular but caused confusion by tasting different from Merlot produced elsewhere.
The reason was eventually discovered; Merlot had been inadvertently mixed with another variety.
In 1994, that variety was shown to be Carménère, an unrelated grape grown in Bordeaux in the 19th century and exported to Chile.
It is rarely planted in France now; it is too susceptible to disease during damp growing seasons.
It thrives, however, in Chile’s dry climate. This example has dark red fruits and plum flavours and low tannins – so far, so Merlot. However, tobacco and green pepper hints suggest that it is made from a different grape.
This Coop example has richness and a spicy character. It’s got a pretty label. It’s made from a really interesting grape variety and it’s great value for money – in fact, it’s irresistible.