Alemany i Corrio, Sot Lefriec, DO Penedes, Catalonia, Spain, 2007
This wine: a garage wine, a blend of 50% merlot, 30% carignan (aka mazuelo or samso), along with cabernet sauvignon; aged in 70% new and 30% used French oak; natural cork closure, bottle 109/5000, 13.5% abv, Gauntleys bin end, £32.34 (01/17)
Consumer tasting note: a strong rich nose of stewed red plum and a touch high-toned blackcurrant, underpinned by rich toast, cinnamon and black liquorice; full-bodied with a smooth rich palate of lightly high-toned black cherry, savoury blackcurrant jam, toasty, spicy, with black liquorice. Finishes long. Decant for 30-60 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of toast, spice, stewed red plum, rich old oak, old polished wood, slightly high-toned blackcurrant jam, bees-wax, warm black liquorice with a tarry edge to it, a little savoury, cinnamon, touch of black cherry.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, smooth ripe medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a seeming sweetness of ripe dark berries in mid-palate, with flavours of slightly high-toned ripe black cherry, slightly savoury blackcurrant jam, toasty, spicy, black liquorice edged with tar, warm bees-wax. A long length with a clean ripe black cherry edged with toast and spice finish.
Quality: very good, well-balanced acidity and ripe tannins with alcohol, harmonious with the overall level of intensity and with alcohol; showing a good, but not outstanding level of evolved complexity from time in wood and bottle, with secondary oak, toast and spice – the toasty note whilst significant does not overwhelm the ripe fruit element on the nose, and is at a lesser level on the mid-palate, being lifted somewhat by a touch of well-managed VA, which adds to the complexity; there is a tertiary dimension too, of stewed fruit and bees-wax; concentration is better than moderate, following into a long rich length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep, and drink well, for 2-4 years – the structure is sound, as is the length, but development is already well advanced, and I wonder whether the toasty element might come to dominate, rather than dissipate, with further extended cellaring.