Deepish amber with mahogany tints through to yellow at the rim, legs.
Lovely clean fresh Oloroso with a sweet aroma of garrapiñadas (almonds in caramel), hazelnuts, hints of walnut, autumn leaves, old moist barrels, dried fruits, some toasted notes with fine traces of citrus and cinnamon, damp esparto curtains (used at the bodega windows to shield the barrels from the sun). This is a complex wine which at first seems straightforward but just grow and develops.
Velvety, fresh and sweet at first developing nicely, then the drier notes of wood, nuts, mineral, earth, and dried fruits such as apricot, it is dry and there is a noticeable acidity giving the wine a lovely tang which balances the glyceric sweetness and carries across the flavour which has almost interminable length. Beautiful.
This magnificent wine is named after the XVIII century Palacio Villapanés in the Barrio San Miguel not far from this important old bodega now run by the 5th generation of the family in the centre of Jerez. Outside the Palacio is a statue of the legendary singer and actress Lola Flores. The wine comes from the same solera as the Oloroso Gobernador, probably established in the 1870s, which is bottled at about 12 years of age, while the Villapanés is sold at more like 20. Interestingly, some of the butts retained flor for a while before ageing oxidatively, and the bodega feels that it is this which gives the wine its elegance, and no doubt some of its crispness.
About 30 Euros in Spain, and probably about £30+ in the UK where it is imported by Les Caves de Pyrene - who don't seem to do much with it, more's the pity.