Sunday, 20 August 2017

El Triángulo 2014 13.9%, Bodegas Luis Pérez

Dense plummy black red with purple-tinged pink at a tight rim.
Soft, fresh and just beginning to shed its most youthful fruit yet lots of brambles and plums and fresh forest berries. The grapes were obviously good and ripe and there is a hint of compote and a passing balsamic note. It invites you in, more than willingly. 
Medium to full bodied with an attractive texture and mid-weight structure with no aggressive tannins. It is very smooth and almost soft thanks to perfectly ripe fruit, though I'd imagined it would have had a touch more minerality, even acidity, but there is no shortage of character; you can easily spot mild French oak notes and the Tintilla siganature. It is dangerously easy to drink and deceptively complex.
This must be the little sister to the Luis Pérez Tintilla. It also comes from 100% Tintilla grapes, grown in the Pago Balbaina near the coast on tosca cerrada albariza soils. The vines are around 15 years old and are trained on espaldera (trellis). The grapes are harvested by hand at night and selected both in the vineyard and on arrival at the bodega. 85% of the grapes are de-stemmed, and a cold soak precedes a coolish fermentation at 22C in stainless steel tanks with regular pumping over. Malolactic fermentation takes place in used French oak barrels where it is aged for 5 months and 15 months in tank before bottling with no filtration at all. Great value and really versatile, works very well slightly chilled in summer.
9.00 euros, Guerrita

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Bodegas: Miguel M Gómez SA

Don José Esteban Gómez y Gómez was born in Almendro (Huelva) and founded this once well-known firm in Cádiz in 1816. It was one of only three Sherry bodegas in the city, along with Abárzuza and Lacave, and the only one to hold a Royal Warrant from King Alfonso XIII.

Don José married María Luisa Aramburu Fernández who came from a banking family in Cádiz and was a grandniece of the bodeguero and benefactor Manuel Moreno de Mora of El Puerto de Santa María. They had nine children, three of whom married into other Sherry families. Always in family hands the firm also owned vineyard near Jerez, though it was latterly sold off.

In 1969 the firm needed to move its old soleras to modern installations in the Avenida de la Libertad, 15 not far from the Campo de Guia area of El Puerto de Santa María. This was due to a change in the DO regulations in that year which excluded Cádiz from the Sherry production zone.

In 1999 they moved again, to old, early XIX century bodegas at Calle Los Moros, 3 in the heart of the Campo de Guia. These bodegas were of the classic design of the day, with two 1,000 square metre main warehouses and a gardened patio between them.

The firm limped through the hard times after the 1970s and was finally dissolved in 1999, though the wine was available for a while longer. The bodegas, however, were restored and are now used as a venue for celebrations called Bodega Alameda in recognition of the firm’s well regarded Fino.

Main brands: Amontillado Fino Cádiz, Amontillado Viejo and Oloroso Hércules, Fino Alameda, Fino Arillo, Palo Cortado Gómez and the prize-winning yet strangely named Amontillado Fino Volapuk (Volapuk is/was an artificial language like Esperanto)

Friday, 18 August 2017

Tiento Fino Añada 2007 16%, Williams & Humbert

Amber tinged straw - gold with golden highlights.
Rich, and more powerful than usual for a Fino and very clean. It is very complex with noticeable flor, hints of salinity, straw, dry leaves, a background trace of super ripe apple and its skin, and, well, concentrated Fino. It is a really sophisticated wine and you can smell the heat and dryness of the vineyards and even a slight oxidative note which fits in very well.
A serious wine, full and textured, dry and bitter. There is an attractive chalky feel in that body and a certain mineral salinity along with a real bitterness from the flor, helped by decent acidity. It has a rapier-like flavour; sharp and straight to the point, but if you roll it around the palate it shows more breadth with autumnal flavours and the faintest trace of tannin. It has incredible length, almost interminable. Superb.
This incredible wine comes from a May 2017 saca of 1100 bottles, all filled en rama. It comes from two butts (numbers 5 and 6 out of 20) which managed to maintain flor for ten years despite being sealed and having no refreshment, quite something. Grapes came from the Pagos Añina and Carrascal and the wine was made from the first pressing, whose must was carefully selected. It was fortified to 15% and has gained another degree despite the flor, though being statically aged there will have been some transpiration over ten years. This has to be one of the most interesting Sherries - or even wines - that I have tasted, and is a real credit to its maker, Paola Medina, whose experiments with vintage Sherry are producing some fascinating wines. W&H have decided to release a series of vintage Sherries named after Flamenco palos (or styles) which best suit the character of the wine. This first one is named after the Tiento, a profound, majestic and slow style which certainly suits this wine.
25.50 euros per 50cl bottle, Licores Corredera

Thursday, 17 August 2017

17.8.17 Lots of Interesting News

New Palomino White from Mahara – and new Bodega
The Gómez Lucas brothers, Miguel and José, have produced their first white wine, made from Palomino grown on albariza and arena soils in Chiclana. It is called Amorro and just over 5,000 bottles will be available. The name comes from the expression “beber a morro” meaning drinking from the bottle and was chosen as the wine is so easy to drink, and the word "amor" is in there too. Their new bodega is in the industrial estate of Polvorines de Fadricas in San Fernando which was once the site of the navy’s gunpowder stores. We can look forward to more interesting wines from this bodega in the future, as they now have the space to experiment.

Universo Santi Restaurant Set to Open Late September
This unique project is located in the Altillo, the former house of Manuel María González Ángel, and will be staffed exclusively by people with some form of disability. Employees have been receiving training in wine from González Byass. Jerez city council owns the building while the project is financed by various charitable foundations and supported by top chefs and sommeliers and is a not-for-profit enterprise, which means that haute cuisine can be offered at sensible prices. It deserves to be a great success as everyone wins – diners and the disabled.

Sherry Sales Surge at Majestic
The UK wine retail chain Majestic Wine has reported huge growth in sales of Sherry with an overall increase of 46% over the last 12 months and an amazing 71% for the dry, more up-market styles. The firm attributes this to “hipsters” who may use the wine for tapas or mixing and also buy craft ales and gins, proving that Sherry is finally moving on from the “drink for grannies” image. Meanwhile, the International Wine & Spirits Record is predicting growth in Sherry sales of 18% over the coming five years. іOjalá! as we say here (let’s hope so!)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

16.8.17 Latest on the Harvest

It is now a week and a half since Barbadillo kicked off the harvest and a few million kilos have already been picked. As from today picking will become generalised in the inland vineyards, while those near the coast will need to wait a further few days till the right sugar levels are achieved. A light Levante wind is forecast for the weekend and with sugar levels well over 12° Beaumé it is better to pick soon than take the risk of volume(and therefore financial) losses by waiting for even higher levels of sugar, as the price paid for the grapes is based on weight, not quality.

The biggest problem would be if any rain were to fall, which would make harvesting difficult in muddy conditions, and if the humidity were followed by hot dry weather there would be a risk of botrytis, though nobody thinks this is likely. The grape price has crept up to 0.36€/kilo which is good, but Sherry grapes are still among the cheapest around. If you are here during the harvest there is no better way to see it than with who offers personalised visits.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

15.8.17 International Sherry Week 2017

International Sherry Week 2017 will run from the 6th – 12th November, and is now in its IV edition.  It gets bigger every year as more people discover that Sherry is such a versatile wine that it is ideal for any kind of event and really brings people together. Now is the time to start organising your event and will give it free promotion. It could be any sort of event; a tasting at home or at a venue, online perhaps; a food and Sherry matching session; Sherry cocktails; in-store tastings at wine shops; comparative tastings - blind tastings even, it only matters that you enjoy some Sherry with your friends - and that’s not hard to do! Salud!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Pedro Ximénez Duquesa 18%, Sánchez Romate

Almost completely opaque blacky walnut brown fading to intense amber at the rim, viscous.
Very fruity, mainly dried fruit of course, with raisins, prunes, dates and figs to the fore along with toffee, carob and a slight toasted note from the oak. There are traces of coffee and cinnamon too.
Full on the palate with lots of texture and those delicious dried fruit flavours. It is unctuously sweet with a hint of honey yet the oak and coffee notes and a perfect touch of very slightly citric acidity provide an element of balance. Fantastic length.
This excellent PX is, at some 8-10 years old, the younger version of the superb 15+ year old PX Cardenal Cisneros. Despite its comparative youth it has considerable class and density and is good enough to feature in the firm's Reservas Especiales range and scored 90 from the Guía Peñín and 91 from Robert Parker.
14.00 ex bodega