2012 Alta Alella Dolç Mataró Organic Sweet Red Wine, Catalonia
This is a sweet red wine made from the Mataró grape variety, more famously known as Mouvedre or Monsatrell in Spanish. Dolç is Catalan for sweet (like dulce in Spanish, or dolce in Italian).
To obtain a sweet wine out of a variety that is more generally made as a still dry red, the grape bunches are left to overripe on the vines late in the season so sugars and flavors concentrate. Harvest takes place before the grapes begin to dry.
After they’re picked, grapes are destemmed and selected before they are put into a stainless steel tanks for fermentation. There, skins are left to macerate for 6 months during which daily ‘remontage’ is carried out initially, then later on a weekly basis only.
After a light pressing, the Wine is put for a short ageing of 2 months in French oak barrels before bottling.
So how good is this sweet red Alta Alella Mataró Wine?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
The Wine is syrupy, as expected from a sweet Wine, not to overly so. The color is dark red. Dark, but again, not overly so.
The nose feels, as expected… sweet. Plenty of intense dried fruit aromas of fig, prune, (coin) jelly. More importantly, the wine smells like cassis syrup (or black currant liqueur) which makes it feels fresh and deeply fruity. Peppermint aromas lift and lighten things up enjoyably.
The palate surprise by its hybrid character. It’s right in between a dry red wine, tannic and mid-bodied, and a rich sweet fortified like Reserve Ruby Port or a Malaga.
It’s sweet, but not that sweet. You get the slightly oily texture from the sugar content, but it’s actually rapidly taken over by some granulous tannins.
To summarize it, let’s say that the start of the palate is rich and sweet, while the end reminds more of a ripe tannic red. A hybrid…
Flavors are plenty and enjoyable. Like on the nose, fresh fig (not the dried one, the sweet warm fresh one) is dominant, combined with Mediterranean herbs, peppermint, quince, and black currant.
Probably a great wine to pair with fruity not-too-sweet desserts.
The style is rather similar to a Reserva Ruby Port, probably slightly less sweet.