Monday, 23 September 2013

Amontillado 51-1a 19% VORS, Osborne

Quite deep mahogany amber fading to a trace of green at the rim, legs. Looks very old.
Full, old and complex.Strongly nutty, particularly toasted hazelnut and almond, along with old wood notes and that classic amontillado apparent marzipan sweetness. It has the faintest whiff of savouriness and astringency which is more than balanced by that sweetness, and merely shows how old the wine is. Lovely.
Full, "punzante" (incisive), dry with a trace of the astringency of age, but mellows on the palate. Immensely tasty - nuts, wood and marzipan again with hints of polished antique furniture - and really quite tangy, which gives it amazing length. Would be lovely with a fine farmhouse cheddar.
From a solera of that name laid down in 1830, probably by Pedro Domecq himself. After the dismantling by Pernod Ricard of the Allied Domecq empire, the VORS soleras were bought by Osborne and moved to El Puerto de Santa Maria, where they now form part of the bodega/museum along with other amazing soleras. Amo 51-1a , while sold as a VORS (guaranteed minimum age of 30 years) is at least twice that age, and probably older. These old wines have been beautifully looked after by oenologist Ignacio Lozano, despite their lack of real profitability. They could never be sold for their real value, but help give prestige to the bodega and its other products. And to Sherry in general. In case of any confusion, there are still some of these wines around in the slightly different Domecq bottles. No problem at all!
About £35.00 at Drinkmonger, Edinburgh and Pitlochry. UK importer: Emporia Brands

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