Friday, 18 July 2014

Palo Cortado Cardenal VORS 22%, Valdespino

Deep burnt umber hued amber through to a trace of green at the rim, legs.
Stunning. Intense, concentrated almond, hazelnut and wood, a little implied sweetness and a trace of salinity all beautifully integrated. It gives a strong sense of being in a bodega surrounded by barrels of Sherry, and there are woody, almost cigar box spice notes, balsamic hints and it evolves slowly and surely in the glass. Despite the age and concentration it is supremely elegant and refined.
A huge, powerful wine with a fair bit of wood tannin astringency just balanced by sufficient glycerol. Lots of nuts including walnut and a fantastic texture - you feel it as well as taste it and there are slight chocolate notes along with hints of wood spice. If anything, slightly more Amontillado than Oloroso. The length is almost interminable.
Scoring 99 Parker points, this exquisite wine is around 50 years old. It started life in the Macharnudo Alto vineyards, and the must was fermented in butt. It then went through the Inocente solera, followed by the Palo Cortado CP solera, followed by the tiny Cardenal Solera, so it has been well aged!
Expensive! A half bottle is 85 Euros in Spain, but it will be hard to find in the UK as agents Liberty Wines appear not to ship it.

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