Friday, 16 March 2018

16.3.18 Success for Sherry in Bacchus Awards

The following Sherries have won awards at the XVI edition of the Bacchus International Wine Competition. Only Gold and Silver are awarded at the only competition held in Spain (Madrid) which is recognised by the OIV (International Organisation for the Vine and Wine). More than 100 international tasters, including Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, winemakers and specialised journalists, worked their way through over 1,500 wines over four days, so it is certainly thorough.

Gran Bacchus de Oro: (only 10 wines are awarded this)
Lustau Oloroso VORS
Tradición Palo Cortado VORS

Bacchus de Oro:
Fundador Harveys Bristol Cream
Fundador Harveys Amontillado
Fundador Harveys Oloroso
Osborne Coquinero
Díez Mérito Amontillado Pemartín
Lustau Palo Cortado VORS
Lustau Pedro Ximénez VORS
González Byass PX Noé VORS
Tradición Cream VOS
Tradición Amontillado VORS
Tradición Oloroso VORS

Bacchus de Plata:
Díez Mérito Oloroso Pemartín
González Byass Tio Pepe
Coop. Católico Agricola Moscatel Los Madroñales

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Pulso 2017 12%, Cuatro Ojos Wines

Light, transparent young ruby red with a pink tinge to the rim.
Fresh and bursting with forest berry fruit and faint background traces of tea and licorice, open and light, full of youthful exuberance with a passing resemblance to Beaujolais primeur, but different grapes.
Again lots of fruit, berries plums, cherries, and pretty light with only gentle structure and depth. It is a pleasant red wine which would match white meats, perhaps lightly cooled, but is for enjoying now as it is not very suitable for bottle ageing.
Much of the lightness, freshness and fruitiness can be explained by the fact that the wine was made by carbonic maceration, like Beaujolais primeur. The grapes are destemmed and placed whole in a sealed stainless steel tank where some grapes are crushed under the weight of the rest. This releases juice which begins to ferment emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide causing the other grapes to ferment intracellularly - from the inside. This gives a wine which is low in tannin and structure but soft light and fruity. After fermentation the tank is emptied and the solids trodden by foot for more extraction. The wine was bottled in early December. It would be helpful if they would include on the label grape variety/ies (in this case, I believe it is Syrah) and vintage, which is information the consumer would probably find more useful than the winemaking process.
12.45 De Albariza

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

13.3.18 Very Special Tasting to be Included at Vinoble

At each edition of Vinoble, one of the most eagerly awaited tastings is the one conducted by the Consejo Regulador of Jerez. In previous years these tastings have focused on wines like VOS and VORS or Vintage Sherries or Noble Blends, but this year the Consejo has come up with another brilliant idea which will maintain Vinoble’s capacity to offer wine professionals a unique opportunity to try real wine treasures which would be practically impossible to find anywhere else.

The Consejo’s proposal is titled “Treasures of San Ginés” and will consist of a tasting of the truly unique wines stored in the commemorative butts in its own bodega of San Ginés at Consejo HQ. These butts contain the vintage wines which result from the traditional treading of the grapes which takes place at the main door of the cathedral during the annual Fiesta de la Vendimia. Since the first Fiesta in 1948, the must has been fermented, decanted and fortified and then aged statically in butts in San Ginés.

Some of the butts at San Gines (foto:ABC Sevilla)

As well as the symbolic value of this traditional winemaking method, these vintage wines have great importance in the recent history of the Consejo. In the year 2000 they became an essential element in establishing analytical reference points - especially in terms of carbon 14 - in the determination of a reliable curve of values to guarantee the veracity of the age certification system for VOS and VORS.

The specific vintages to be tasted at Vinoble have been personally selected by Consejo president Beltrán Domecq, who will also conduct the tasting, aided by director general, César Saldaña. The organisers of Vinoble hope to finalise the complete tasting programme in early April, when tickets will be made available.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Brandy Solera Gran Reserva 38%, Fernando de Castilla

Fairly deep antique mahogany with bright copper highlights fading to amber at the rim.
Exudes class with all the classic characteristics of Brandy de Jerez but in top form. It is crisp with an excellent balance between dried fruit, mainly dates and raisins, and fresh clean oak in which the Sherry is notable but not predominant leaving room for all sorts of nuances like toasted bread and nuts and traces of caramel and aromatic woods. Tight and fresh.
Crisp, full, generous and clean, it makes quite an impact and shows just how good Brandy de Jerez can be. There is no sweetening making it quite dry and there is a hint of tannin - to be expected for its age - giving a hint of grip but not at all aggressive, and there is a roundness which carries it through to impressive length. The quality of the casks is evident and it is beautifully made.
This superb brandy is made from selected pot still holandas - the firm only uses holandas - and aged primarily as añadas and then in solera, in butts previously seasoned with Oloroso and Amontillado, for a total of 15 years. As his family had been involved in the Sherry trade for a couple of centuries, and having worked for Gonzalez Byass, Fernando Andrada Vanderwilde y Contreras decided to set up a firm to produce the finest possible Brandy in Spain. He started out buying brandy from Real Tesoro, eventually buying the Gran Reserva solera, a bodega in Calle Jardinillos and the almacenista Bustamante. The brandy was highly successful and the firm is now run by Jan Petterson, who has added various amazing single cask brandies to the range.
44.50 euros, Birdie Vinos

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Entrechuelos Rosado 2017 13.5%, Bodegas Miguel Domecq

Very pale, bright faintly copper tinted wild salmon pink with pinky gold highlights.
Fresh and fruity with hints of raspberry, strawberry and a trace of peach and gently tangy with a slight floral note and some white wine character and confectionery following through.
Beautifully balanced, clean and elegant, very refreshing with great depth of flavour with lots of soft berry fruits. Attractively tangy, subtle and decently long.
While this most attractive wine is made in the currently fashionable very pale style,what it may lack in depth of colour it certainly does not lack in flavour. It is made from night harvested Tempranillo, Syrah and Merlot grapes grown on the firm's own vineyards at the Cortijo de Torrecera. Each variety is harvested separately when it is perfectly ripe, and on arrival at the winery the grapes are put in stainless steel tanks and the juice is allowed to drain under gravity, without pressing. This gives very fine juice with very little colour which is fermented slowly at 15C over three weeks before spending a few months on lees before bottling. I am presuming this is from 2017 as a vintage is not stated. If it were older the colour would be more orange. It would help shops rotate stock if a year or clear lot number was stated, not to mention consumers.
4,50 euros, Licores Corredera

Friday, 9 March 2018

Palo Cortado "Saca Única" 22% Sacristía AB

Beautiful bright clear deep mahogany with copper glints and a trace of green at the rim.
Extremely aromatic yet serious with clear notes of toasted almond and hazelnut and a trace of orange tinged caramel. There is a hint of oak and a sensation of exotic wood like cedar along with a trace of toast. It is hard to identify some of the many nuances as time has melded them into a harmonious and very charming bouquet. A very serious wine.
Intense and concentrated. There is a distinct saline note behind and salted caramel perhaps, a hint of bitterness and inevitably a certain amount of tannin and crisp acidity, much of it volatile, but it is very old and that is to be expected. Once past the structural elements, it opens out and offers lots of nuts, a hint of rolling tobacco and various woods, before fading gracefully and with incredible length.
This is the first Palo Cortado in the Sacristía AB range by Antonio Barbadillo Mateos, who sells limited amounts of top quality old wines, and it is very special. It comes from the bodegas of Juan Piñero in Sanlúcar and 500 litres were contract bottled, giving a saca of 1,000 x 50cl numbered bottles. The wine is somewhere between 90 and 100 years old and is thus pretty rare and proves that there are still a few ancient treasures to be found. This stunning wine is definitely a Vino de Pañuelo. The yellow symbol on the label looks like that for dos cortados, but on its side, yet this wine is surely a cuatro cortados as more cortados are added according to age - as long as the wine is in good condition of course.
110,65 per 50cl bottle, Licores Corredera

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Ponche Santa María 20%, Osborne

Chestnut brown fading to amber with coppery glints.
Distinct aromas of orange, both juice and peel and perhaps a hint of lemon, followed by herbal and spice notes predominantly cinnamon with hints of brown sugar and caramel. It is very fresh and light with a certain complexity and all is nicely integrated.
The sweetness has a certain viscosity which is cut by the citrus giving it a gentle tang which balances with caramel and herbal notes. It is light, clean and fresh with a lively fruity character with decent length and no cloying.
Made from selected spirits distilled at the firm's own distillery in Tomelloso and infused with fruits such as orange, plum, raisin and various spices like cinnamon, many in the form of essences  according to a secret formula. While all the formulas are secret, most Ponches taste fairly similar yet there are subtle differences. Unlike some, Osborne seem to be doing little to promote this product.
8 euros per litre, Roali