Alemany i Corrio, Pas Curtei, DO Penedes, Catalonia, Spain, 2011
DO Penedes is a coastal region close south-west of Barcelona, DO Tarragona abuts Penedes at its south-west border. Penedes comprises 3 zones – coastal and low-lying sandy Baix Penedes, with the warmest Mediterranean climate, producing full-bodied reds from grenache, carignan and monastrell; then inland at 250-500m the chalk, clay and limestone Medio Penedes, with a temperate climate, 80% of production is for Cava, with reds from tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and merlot; then further inland, on limestone, but at high altitude 500-800m, is Alt Penedes, with a cool continental climate, suiting whites of chardonnay, riesling, gewurztraminer, sauvignon blanc ,and the Cava varieties of macabeo, parellada and xarel-lo.
This wine: biodynamic, a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carignan, aged in French barriques (225l), new and older, unfiltered, natural cork closure, 14% abv, Gauntleys, £12.65 (2016)
Consumer tasting note: meaty and bloody on opening, rapidly morphing into toasty and spicy rich ripe black berries, with a tertiary dimension emerging of tarry and smoky notes; medium bodied with balanced acidity-tannins with rich flavours and alcohol, a rich long length. Needs careful decanting for sediment (bottled unfiltered) and 2 hours+ exposure to open air for the full experience. Had this with teriyaki sauce marinated thinly sliced and grilled the hell out of alaskan sockeye salmon, new potatoes and garden grown french beans.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, opening with bloody and raw steak notes, with toasty dark berries beneath, and after a few minutes sweet ripe black cherry, hint of tar, creamy black berry, toast and spice, vanilla and cinnamon, touch of black currant, liquorice, smoke.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, ripe slightly drying medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol but a medium body, medium (+) intensity, smooth but middle weight texture, flavours of toasty black currant, black cherry, black plum, meaty and spicy, touch of vanilla, touch of dried herbs. A long length, with a clean ripe black cherry finish and a moderate grip.
Quality: a very good quality wine, acidity and tannins are a match for alcohol and sympathetic with flavour intensity and the rich toasty black fruited profile. Showing some complexity from time in oak, with toasty spicy notes, and in bottle with meaty and tarry notes. Quite concentrated following into the long rich length.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential to develop with further cellaring – has a sound acid-tannin structure, well-balanced, with residual fruit to work with, could start to see dried fruit eg currants and raisins, tobacco, with further aging, over say 3-5 years tops.