Carmenère - Grape Variety
Carmenère is an historic Médocain grape variety, predating Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyard of the Gironde's Left Bank. Its relation to other grapes has been better understood through DNA profiling and it seems that Carmenère, Merlot, Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc and Malbec are all part of the Carmenet grouping of varietals i.e. are all related in some way. Carmenère was confused with Merlot for many years in such places as Chile and Italy, but in France, its plantings dwindled after the Phyloxera outbreak, as other vines offering more reliable fruit set (one of Carmenère's weaknesses) were substituted. Carmenère has become the signature grape of Chile, where experiments are well under way to find the best vineyard sites for this variety.