On the 13th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…(oops), and a barking sheep. Seriously. I’m not joking here.
Last Thursday I received a very suspicious box. Heavy, and emitting a little gurgle when I shook it. Knowing that I hadn’t received any hate mail as of late, I figured it was from one of my many admiring fans!
Inside I found two bottles of wine. One named (oops) Carmenere, and the second being a bottle of Barking Sheep Malbec.
With the wine was a letter from Tracey Flood, the office manager at Schwartz Olcott Imports, LLC. She reminded me that Norman Schwartz had contacted me via email back in mid December asking if I would be interested in hearing about his new venture.
For those of you who don’t know, Schwartz is the guy who made Yellow Tail wine happen in America. A brilliant brand marketing genius in the wine industry. I have to admit, I’m a little humbled to be emailed by the guy in the first place, but getting two bottles of his newest project on my doorstep made me tingle all over!
So, as I looked over the labels I have to admit they were pretty funky. Far, far from serious. The bottle of (oops) looks like the label of castile soap you buy at the natural food store. Filled with writing, the label tells you the entire history of how Carmenere was re-found thriving in Chile.
Thought to be lost forever due to Phyloxera in Europe, the Carmenere grape had been exported to Chile in the 1700s through root stocks. It was actually believed until recently that Carmenere was Merlot in Chile. The bottle explains it all, and therefore the name (oops), which is to honor the discovery of the lost grape.
The wine is deep ruby in the glass, with a nose of plums and marjoram. The flavors are large but supple and soft. Not at all acidic and biting as you’ll find in many Carmeneres. I tasted dark ripe plum, cherry, and pepper. Delicious.
The second bottle actually scared me a little. Barking Sheep Malbec actually as a picture of an aggressive looking sheep with a “Beware of Sheep” sign next to it on the label. Cute, if you’re into angry sheep.
Made in Mendoza, Argentina by Carlos Munoz, the grapes are sourced at 1000 meters above sea level high in the Andes foothills.
The juice in the bottle poured out dark and rich. A deep purple, teeth staining color. The nose is very complex on this wine. Intensely rich, with scents of dried berries and roasted nuts. The flavors are huge. This wine jumps out and grabs you with full-on flavor. Dried Cherries and Blueberries, leading way to strawberry flavors, and ending with smoky butterscotch. The tannins are large, but not too much. I’d put this wine up against smoked venison roast any day.
Knowing what I know about Schwartz and the company’s goals for distribution you should expect to see these wines on the shelves in the near future. I know I’ll be buying more.