Martinez, Marsala Superiore Reserva, Dolce, DOC Marsala, NV, Sicily, Italy
There is a bewildering (for the consumer) range of styles, and ageing requirements :
- fine – minimum 1 year, including 8 months in barrel
- superiore – minimum 2 years, including 20 months in barrel
- superiore riserva – minimum 4 years, including 44 months in barrel
- vergine – minimum 5 years, including 56 months in barrel
- vergine stravecchio – minimum 10 years, including 116 months in barrel
Minimum alcohol levels are 17.5% for fine, otherwise 18%, and for the dolce style a minimum of 100g/l RS.
This wine: lot no. L1726802, a blend of grillo, catarratto and inzolia (aka ansonica); aged for 5 years in oak vats, natural cork stopper, 37.5cl, 18% abv, widely available, ~£20 (02/16)
Consumer tasting note: deep amber hued, with rich aromas of raisin, dried fig, wet prune, roast hazelnut, caramel and medium toffee; medium sweet and medium bodied, with similar flavours, plus burnt caramel and old polished wood. Finishes medium-long. Decant for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity amber, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of raisin, dried fig, wet prune, roast hazelnut, hint of caramel, medium toffee, naturally dried apricot (quite toffeed with just a hint of apricot), a passing whiff of bees-wax.
Palate: medium sweet, medium acidity, fortified medium, full body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety almost oily texture with a low-key grip, with flavours of raisin, wet prune, burnt caramel, dark toffee, old polished wood, hint of roast hazelnut. A medium (+) length with a clean raisin and burnt caramel infused finish, with a low-key grip.
Quality: very good, nicely balanced acidity with alcohol + residual sugar, leaving the palate almost perfectly clean on spitting, and is not at all cloying; sound intensity throughout, with a similar concentration level; showing moderate complexity from a lengthy period of oxidative ageing in wood, following into a medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further aging, but will keep for 5-10 years – a fully developed oxidised wine, with nowhere to go.
- Italian Wine Central [online] accessed 01/01/18