Sunday, February 06, 2005

Winecology: Falset-Marca "Etim" - Montsant, Spain - 2002

This wine comes from Spanish cooperative Falset-Marca, located in the ancient and isolated Priorat region - a relatively new addition to the mainstream global wine map. Priorat's wines are predominantly high-octane extracted reds, loaded with tannin, concentrated fruit and alcohol. These generous wines are a product of painstaking viticulture due to notoriously low-yielding vines. Priorat's climate and mountainous environment are anything but friendly. Extreme temperatures - hot days and cool nights - combined with rocky and arid soil are the norm. Grenache, carignan, tempranillo and syrah are grown with much success in Priorat.

The 2002 version of Falset-Marca's Etim blends the above four Priorat grapes. Initially this wine was tough and tight - firmly expressing its youth. After a couple hours of decanting, the good stuff was unleashed. The wine had a dark, dark ruby red color with a pronounced light purple on the rim. The nose breathed dark cherry, red licorice and spice. On the palette, ripe red fruits were concentrated and syrupy. Lots of cherry and strawberry. Zippy acidity compliments and balances the fruit. Tannin offers bite in the moderate finish. A great value with aging potential from Spain's shooting star region.

Rating - 8.5 out of 10
Price - $10