Carmine is a Californian grape variety bred for the purpose of producing full-bodied, tannic red wines in the cool climate regions of the United States. Carmine is better suited to California’s coastal regions but it is also grown in Oregon, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
The variety is a three-way crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carignan, developed by Dr Harold Olmo in 1946. It is more hardy and weather-tolerant than Cabernet and Merlot, but still requires enough warmth for its fruit to ripen.
Carmine wines are dark red or crimson in color, and typically have herbaceous aromas and peppery notes. Carmine has strong, dry tannins and sour acidity, so is well-suited to ageing, from one year to 10 years. It has inherited a lot of flavors from Cabernet Sauvignon, principally dark fruit (blackberries), dark chocolate and the occasional hint of mint.
Related grape varieties include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carignan.
Food matches include:
Europe: Grilled beef rib with béarnaise sauce
Americas: Cajun-style boudin rouge