Sunday, 21 December 2014

Palo Cortado 1730 VORS 18%, Alvaro Domecq

Bright copper-hued amber-mahogany, slight trace green at rim, legs.
Very elegant and complex, slightly phenolic wood notes are subordinated by a hint of glyceric sweetness with an almond and hazelnut character. Beautiful balance and all sorts of subtleties with traces of polished furniture, tobacco, honey, nuts and those wood notes but all in perfect harmony. An object lesson in balance, and most attractive.
Full and quite intense, dry and concentrated, it is fuller on the palate than one might have imagined from the nose. This is an old wine and it inevitably has a certain astringency from the wood, but it is not excessive, and there is no sign of any PX having been added, it seems totally natural, and one is distracted by the pronounced almond and walnut flavours. Most of the bitterness is balanced out by glycerol, leaving an almost interminable finish. Classic Palo Cortado.
This wine is very hard to find, but I tasted it at Vinoble in 2014. Both the AD Amontillado VORS and this Palo Cortado have been unavailable for a while but are being re-introduced - in very limited quantities. It is made from the old Pilar Aranda solera, bought with the entire bodega in 1999. Doña Pilar was an almacenista with a fine reputation and this small solera is well over a hundred years old. In 2007 the firm was acquired by Avanteselecta who have continued with Álvaro's dream. The oenologist is Ana Real, and she has done a really good job. Production is only 3,600 bottles. After all, the bodega's slogan is "Maximum quality, minimum quantity".
About 35.00 euros in Spain

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