Terra Alta DO, Spain; 13.5% ABV
40% Garnacha, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 10% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot
Excess buyer’s sample bought for $5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 22 Nov
This was in a group of buyer’s samples that the wine steward had kept for a while but finally had to get rid of. I reviewed a number of Oriel wines six months ago, and this wine may have been in that group of excess samples. They were mostly pretty good, except for one that had been good but was by then too old, but there I never heard of any showing up as regular stock. According to the wine steward, there is zero chance of any of them showing up anymore, but I still wanted to try this wine and review it for anyone interested. It’s also pretty good.
The wine was okay at first pour, but it really needed nearly four hours in a decanter to finally open up (and this time I can’t blame bottle shock from recent transport) and show its darker fruits of blackberry, purple and red plums, bacon or roasted ham, black raspberry, dried cherries, dark brown earth, dried wood, with thicker, slightly gritty texture, and a tannic finish. The wine was very interesting and tasty and good for the price. Unfortunately, we’ll never know at what price GO might have offered it as regular stock.