It is not an unusual situation for me: there I am wandering the wine aisles of a favorite store, looking and looking and starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the sipping choices arrayed before me. In this case, it was Trader Joe's and to be perfectly honest, I had only gone in to buy my doggies some of their favorite dog treats, which only TJ's carries. But how do you resist the wine aisles when you are a Winey Mom? I also would pose the same question about the cheese section, but I'm not a Cheesy Mom.
Back to the wine. I had my doggie treats in hand, and I had lost all momentum and had just sort of stopped walking. I was facing the shelves and I must have (once again) had a certain look on my face, because one of the store's very helpful employees stopped and said, "Need a suggestion?" Hello - I sure did. So he walked a few feet to the right and took out a bottle of Found Object Carmenere (2010, 13.5%, Chile). He brought it over and of course the first thing I wanted to ask was "how did you find this?" hahahah. But I didn't. I was feeling clueless enough and didn't want to seal the deal on it.
He told me that this one one of his favorites. It was $9.99 (Ohio prices, remember), it was from Chile, I was feeling the need to travel outside my typical wine buying regions, plus it was being handed to me. I bought it.
Carmemere is a huge deal down in Chile - they grow the most of it out of anywhere, even though the grape itself started out in France many moons ago. A lot of times you'll find this in a blend of reds, but this time it got the bottle all to itself. The nose on this one was herby with a bit of raspberry at the edges. The berries came through in the taste, as did the herbs (think thyme and oregano) and a teeny hint of black pepper. There was a taste of warm vanilla oak on top of it all (it's aged 4 months in oak) and it finished warm and lasting - again, the oak talking here. No big giant tannins though, just a hint.
You don't need to aerate this one at all...just uncork, pour and sip. Very convenient should the need for instant wine therapy arise.
Did I like it? Yup. It was a nice, well-behaved red - not too wimpy, not too in your face bold. It speaks well of more trips to the Chilean wine aisle....and to Trader Joe's for those doggy treats. (REALLY - I just went in for them - really.)