Vinyes Velles dels Costers de la Vilella Alta, Fra Fulco, DO Priorat, Catalonia, Spain 1998
This wine: a carignan dominated blend, natural cork closure, 14% abv, Gauntleys, £37 (11/16)
Consumer tasting note: if you like maturity, here it is … a bit porty, highly complex and concentrated with a slightly high-toned nose of dried berries, leather, old polished wood, dried herbs, stewed black cherry and dark chocolate; full-bodied, high(ish) alcohol, with more stewed and dried berries, leather and dark chocolate. Easily a long length. Drink now, decant for 30 minutes, but start nosing immediately for the full experience.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity garnet, showing tears, and a heavy sediment.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of stewed red berries with a slightly high-toned edge to it, a bit porty, dark glace cherries, leather, dried berries – currants and cranberries, dark raisins, old polished wood, dried herbs, warm prune, edge of old oil paint, rich leaf humus, spicy stewed black cherry, dark chocolate.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe smooth medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, full-bodied, pronounced intensity, a smooth texture with a sense of sweetness in mid-palate (aka sucrosity), with flavours of stewed red and black berries, dried currants, prune, leather, dark chocolate. A long length with a clean rich dried berry moderately grippy finish, with a touch of sweet tobacco on the end.
Quality: outstanding, perfectly balanced firm but ripe tannins and fresh acidity with alcohol, all in tune with the strong flavour intensity; moderate to highly concentrated flavours, showing a high level of complexity dominated by tertiary notes. Pans out to a predictable long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for a year or two.