The 4 Carménère with the best value for money selected by Gambero Rosso

Apr 8 2024, 12:23
Carménère, a red grape variety originally from the Bordeaux region, is now one of the most cultivated grapes in Chile, while in Italy, it is widespread in Friuli Venezia-Giulia and Veneto, from where the wines we propose originate

It's not a very well-known grape variety because, in reality, it's not that widely spread. However, the world of wine is beautiful precisely because of this: there's always something new to discover. In this case, we're talking about Carménère.

The name betrays its origin; indeed, Carménère is one of the grapes cultivated in the Bordeaux region, especially in the Medoc. But like all Bordeaux grapes, Carménère's journey starts from much further away. We can reconstruct it by following the itinerary outlined by Columella, a Latin writer from the 1st century AD, author of "De Re Rustica." Carménère would indeed be an ancestor of vitis balisca, a grape that crossed the Adriatic from the coasts of what is now Albania, arriving in Rome. From here, it would have been taken first to Spain and then to France, where it would have happily taken root among the Bituriges, a population living in the Bordeaux district. From here, it would have changed its name and become vitis biturica, the ancestor of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec.

The Carménère vineyards in Bordeaux were almost completely destroyed by phylloxera, but in the meantime, the grape had found a new home in Chile, where it is currently one of the most cultivated grape varieties.

Fattoria Fasolo | photo Facebook

Carménère with the best value for money

Recent genetic studies tell us that Carménère is a "child" of cabernet franc, with which it has indeed often been confused. And probably this is precisely the reason why it also arrives in Italy: here, this grape is mainly cultivated in Friuli Venezia-Giulia and Veneto, and from this region come the four wines we propose below, reviewed in the Vini d'Italia 2024 and Berebene 2024 guides of Gambero Rosso and which you will find on the shelves of wine shops and online shops with the best value for money.

The Colli Euganei Rosso Infinito 2019 is one of the wines produced by the Elisa Dilavanzo company, which extends for just under 20 hectares in the southern area of the Euganean Hills. Great attention is paid to Bordeaux and Muscat varieties. Excellent is the Red D+, a 2019 vintage Reserve that impresses with the depth of aromas and the vigor of the palate.

The Colli Euganei Carménère I Sentieri Monte Fasolo 2021 is one of the wines produced by the Le Volpi Monte Fasolo company of the Rossi Luciani family, which extends over many hectares on some of the best exposures of the Euganean Hills. Excellent is the 2020 Red Monte Fasolo, complex on the nose and endowed with a sunny profile and beautiful fullness that finds rigor in the dense tannic texture.

The Barabane Carmenère 2021 is one of the wines produced by Bonotto delle Tezze. In a territory that seems to have abdicated its ampelographic richness for Glera, Antonio Bonotto together with his wife Vittoria and his son Luigi instead remains faithfully tied to the historical grapes of the territory, led obviously by Raboso. The historic cellar in via duca d'Aosta has recently been expanded and today allows each processing to be carried out with precision and at the right time. Wines with a straightforward style that express a production idea focused on elegance and freshness.

The Carménère 2021 by Ornella Bellia expresses all the character of the grape in an intense nose, where dark fruit is supported by spicy notes. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied, and the wine extends juicy and immediately pleasant. The wines produced by the large company in Pramaggiore are always reliable, with a vineyard platform that extends for more than 30 hectares, to which another thirty cultivated by local growers must be added.

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