The WSET Advanced Level 3 award results came through today – after waiting only 12 weeks. I passed with Distinction in both the theory and tasting portions of the exam. Thrilled. Yup. Jumping with proverbial joy.
What better way than to celebrate with a bottle of wine? After creating a sumptuous plate of cheeses, olives, kamut salad and meats. I opened a Spanish wine from the Terra Alta DO, located in the western Catalonian province of Tarragona.
This bodega is located just south and west of Priorat DOQ in northeastern Spain. As such it is a very dry and warm region, but benefits from cooling breezes from the nearby Mediterranean. This is actually where the Garnaxa Blanca grape originated.
A clear, deep ruby red core moving to a thick pale crimson rim with moderate legs. I swore there may be a tiny bit of petillance or sparkle but the bottle shock blew off.
Clean with better than average intensity, it shows developing aromas of ripe and bright red fruits including raspberries, Byng cherries and blackberries with a hint of leather which is unsurprising as this blend of 35% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, a dash of Merlot is aged in US and European oak for 4 months.
On the palate, it’s dry with solid acidity, slightly grippy medium tannins, medium plus alcohol and average body. The flavours of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, cherry, leather, tar and mocha with a slight hint of green accompany the strong finish.
Drink now although I think this could be laid down a few more years (2 -3). Parker has said this is a 90 point wine and I’d agree and say it’s WSET Very Good because of the high acidity, strong fruit and tannin. Nicely balanced.