Celebrations, Carvel, and Carmenère

Even though this week is a quieter week at work, both with shorter hours and only 4 days, it’s been oddly hectic. There’s been lots of non-work chatter in the bullpen, which creates a general, constant hum in my office space. I took several long work lunches that probably involved an equal amount of work and non-work talk. There was the extra condo association meeting to discuss modernizing the elevators. And, there was my birthday!! I love birthdays. It could be mine or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter, I just think birthday’s are fun. Admittedly, Hubby and I didn’t do anything too special, since my birthday and the condo meeting were the same night, but he picked up a Carvel ice cream cake and a singing birthday candle to make sure that we celebrated properly. There’s nothing like some wine and ice cream to get the party started!

Following the Wines of Chile May 20th live online tasting, the blogging world has been buzzing about how Chilean wines have an amazing quality-price ratio, and the Carmenère seemed to be the favorite among the participating wine bloggers. While MontGras wines weren’t tasted during the event, all of the discussions about wines of Chile, in general, and Carmenère in particular, left me excited about opening my bottle of 2008 MontGras Reserve Carmenère (vineyard, snooth). My excitement for the wine combined with the fact that my birthday was on a work night, made my not-too-fancy choice absolutely perfect.

The 2008 MontGras Reserve Carmenère is 90% Carmenère grapes and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine had a luscious, deep purple color and very visible legs. On the nose, there was an abundance of black fruit and baking spices aromas—mostly all-spice and cinnamon. There was also just the slightest hint of vanilla. In the mouth, the black fruit flavors took a back seat to the spice cabinet, with nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla being the most prominent. As the flavors lingered, a toastiness emerged to round out and bind the flavors together. The wine’s thick, velvety texture screamed to me of luxury and relaxation.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $12 a bottle, you might want to grab a few, as this wine is not only a great deal for something to drink now, but also a wine that I think will age nicely over the next few years. In general, the Carmenère isn’t overly complex, yet the aromas and flavors were varied enough to be interesting and enjoyable. I drank the Carmenère with my chocolate & vanilla Carvel cake, which is an odd pairing, but it actually worked with the crunchy cookie separating the two ice cream flavors. (Don’t judge…it’s my party, so I can drink what I want to. You’d drink it too, if you had the Carmenère with you).

Overall: 3.5 corks

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