Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Amontillado VORS Solera AOS 22%, Osborne

Copper tinted mahogany fading to yellow with a trace of green at the rim, legs.
Full, forthcoming and complex, obviously old yet still there are hints of a former life as a Fino: a trace of Marmite, a hint of salinity, olive brine. Overall, however, it is supremely refined and well balanced with sweet notes of cinnamon, marmalade orange peel, oak, vanilla and raisin as well as lots of hazelnut praline.
Crisp, tangy and dry with a hint of glyceric sweetness and raisin balancing the oakiness. Again lots of nuts: hazel and almond and the slightest bitter walnut twist. It is a very friendly wine which has a great presence, and the acidity gives it great length. Excellent.
AOS stands for the Antonio Osborne Solera which was laid down in 1903 by Tomas Osborne Guezala (2nd Conde de Osborne) to commemorate Antonio's birth. The solera was built up from the best Amontillados in the firm's La Palma bodega in Calle La Palma in El Puerto de Santa Maria, and not run until Antonio reached the age of 21, by which time the wine was already very fine. The grapes come from the Pago Balbaina. Only 750 numbered bottles are released annually at over 30 years of age. A tiny amount of PX is blended in at the start to avoid later astringency, but the wine still feels dry. It received 97 Parker points, and belongs to Osborne's superb Rare Sherry range which includes Palo Cortado Solera PΔP, Oloroso Solera India, Oloroso BC 200, Pedro Ximenez Viejo VORS and the never-released Amontillado El Cid, which comes from the original Duff Gordon soleras which are owned by Osborne.
This wine is not available in the UK unfortunately (but you could try simplywinesdirect.com or Longford Wines in Whitstable). It sells for over 190 euros in Spain for a 50cl bottle, albeit with an attractive box. The price seemed to rise as the bottle size fell.

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