The story of Carmenère is a remarkable one. One of the original six red varieties of Bordeaux, it became almost extinct after Phylloxera tore through vineyards in the 1800s. Not until 1994 was it re-discovered growing in Chile when winemakers realised that many of the vines they had thought were Merlot were in fact Carmenère. One of our favourites is made by Jorge Balduzzi in the Maule Valley. Jorge is the third generation to farm vineyards in Maule Valley but his family winemaking history stretches back to the 1700s in Italy. His unoaked Carmenère comes from grapes handpicked from the estate’s Aitué vineyards and is a supremely fresh and elegant style. “Delicate red fruit aromatics of mulberries and cherries with bright, vibrant, crunchy red fruit on the palate. Classic Carmenère in style, it’s laden with ripe fruit and is very soft and supple, making it easy to drink on its own. It would also go well with a week night supper of sausages and mash or grilled meats.” Mimi Avery.