The Friday before Memorial Day was my birthday. As it was also the start of a holiday weekend and the beginning of a quiet week at work, I decided to celebrate by taking the afternoon off. On my way home, I went to my local wine shop to find a celebratory bottle of Carmenère. I ended up opening a bottle of Carmenère for my birthday in both 2009 and 2010, so I thought it would be fun to make it a tradition.
The 2008 Oveja Negra Carmenère (snooth, winery) is a single vineyard blend of 92% Carmenère and 8% Cabernet Franc grapes. The wine has a deep purple color with a hint of ruby. The nose was big and bright with ripe strawberries, tart raspberries, juicy plums, nutmeg, cloves, and the slightest hint of vanilla. In the mouth, there were strawberries, plums, and cloves wrapped in a pleasant woodiness. The wine had good acidity, high alcohol, medium tannins, and a medium body.
Is this worth a glass after work? If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $20, this wine is was certainly not a “black sheep;” in fact, it was a luscious complex wine that was worthy of a birthday celebration. The Carmenère was definitely food-friendly and would pair wonderfully with a marinated steak. However, I enjoyed this wine on its own. It was so smooth and well-balanced that it was like drinking warm liquid velvet, and it brought a smile with each sip.
Purchased at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill
Overall: 4.5 Corks