Sunday, January 24, 2016

2010 Seven Hills Carmenere

Happy Sunday!  Sunday dinners are always an adventure, a time to experiment with different recipes, new foods and of course adventurous wine pairings!  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of wine from one of my absolute favorite Walla Walla producers, but one that for some unknown reason has been sitting in my cellar for a few years when I should have enjoyed it a long time ago, the 2010 Seven Hills Carmenere, a near pure example of the varietal, with a bit of Merlot (6%) added to provide a bit of backbone.  Now I've already reviewed the 2012 vintage (you can see that review here), so don't ask me why I can't do things in order, so let's get to it!

The wine is a lovely deep ruby color in the glass with nice clarity.  The nose presents aromas of red raspberry, red currant and leather overlaid with a lovely spicy layer.  The taste is just amazing, with some rich fruit up front that hearkens back to a fine Amarone, amid layers of earthy notes, of cedar and tobacco.  Midpalate, you are treated to a symphony of cherry cola, mocha and spice, white pepper and herbs de Provence that just elevate this wine.  The finish is near perfect, with the smooth, rounded tannins supporting a lingering dry finish that dares you to hold back from taking another sip.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, it's probably about at its peak, but it's just such a pleasant drinking wine that the food you eat with it is almost an afterthought.  But alas, my afterthought tonight is a lovely white cedar planked salmon filet, served with sweet potato mash and steamed broccoli.  The fruit is such a nice complement to the salmon, while the spice is a great foil to the richness of the sweet potatoes.  Cheers!

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