Monday, 9 September 2013

Palo Cortado Leonor 20%, Gonzalez Byass

Bright yellowy amber, legs.
Clean, fresh, fairly tight and quite amontillado: lots of faintly sweet lightly toasted hazelnuts and almonds, slightly yeasty traces of fino origins and a certain gentle crispness along with tightly controlled oxidation and the slightest hint of oloroso.
On the light side, with an attractive and gentle tang, but still quite amontillado, traces of dried fruit such as apricot, quince and raisin, but no sweetness other than that slight glyceric feel, not at all woody, just fresh and very attractive with good length.
The first bottling of this wine was released as recently as 2010, though it comes from an old solera. Leonor is over 12 years old and is produced from Carrascal and Macharnudo vineyards. It won a gold in the International Wine Challenge 2011. It is named after the Infanta Leonor, born in 2005 to Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia. The alcohol content is high for a Palo Cortado of this age, but is the result of natural evaporation in the bodega's particular microclimate, no further fortification having been done. Leonor forms the base wine for the much older VORS Apostoles: after around 15 years of ageing, the wine joins the 1862 Apostoles solera, laid down in honour of a visit to the bodegas by Queen Isabel II.
£12 - 15 Imported by Gonzalez Byass UK. Reasonable distribution.

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