Oveja Negra Sauvignon Blanc/Carmenere On a Steamy Summer Night

If I had been asked how I would spent the last steamy hot night of summer, I might have imagined taking bites of sweet watermelon dipped in dark salted chocolate.  And dancing barefoot in the moonlight.  Perhaps sipping ridiculously expensive Champagne in the wee hours, while cricket and katydid choirs sang their hearts out.

The thing is, reality can sometimes be just as good as our imaginations.

Last Saturday very possibly was the last steamy hot day of the season. After working a non-stop-running day I came home, donned shorts and flip-flops, and headed straight to the deck. An icy cold summer brew, Bells Brewery Oberon was perfect refreshment.  So was the nap in the hammock that followed!

Watermelon was up next.  Not dipped in chocolate, mind you, but topped with thick slices of feta, sprinkled with fresh basil from the garden, and drizzled with fruity olive oil. 

My wine for sipping as the sun started to set and watermelon nibbling had begun was the Oveja Negra Sauvignon Blanc/Carmenere blend.

The unusual blend is what might first catch your attention.  Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape, and Carmenere is a red grape.  So…. the wine retains its white color simply by pressing the juice off the skins of the red grapes before there is any color extraction.  The Sauvignon Blanc juice is cool fermented and allowed to age sur-lie (on the yeast) for two months which gives a richer mouthfeel. Ten percent Carmenere juice is added to the final blend.

The fantastic price might also catch your attention, coming in under $10. Grapes come from the Maule Valley, a sub-region at the southern end of Chile’s Central Valley, where grape plantings are diverse. The vineyards are sustainably farmed and grapes are hand-picked.  All this and a value price!

This wine was such a perfect match for such a hot summer evening!  Aromas are all grapefruity and tropical with herbal notes probably from the presence of the Carmenere.  Perhaps it was the basil on my watermelon, but I swear I smelled fresh basil in the glass.

The palate is also filled with vibrant, crisp grapefruit along with tropical fruits in a mid-weight body.  Bright acidity is balanced by a rich mouthfeel and fresh, zesty fruit. It was a refreshing counterpoint to the hot summer evening.

I may not have sipped expensive Champagne, nor danced in the moonlight, but I did devour delicious watermelon, sipped ridiculously delicious wine, and was serenaded into the wee hours by a glorious chorus of summertime insects! Reality can be as good as our imagination!

Pairing with ripe, juicy watermelon;
Sipping on a hot summer night;
Wine drinkers who enjoy fruit-forward wines with great acidity.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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