Saturday, 26 December 2015
Pale Cream Croft Original 17.5%, González Byass
Fino-like bright pale strawy gold, more legs though.
Light and fresh though restrained a bit by the sweetness, a bit like Fino blended with mosto which is pretty well what it is, hints of lemon cake icing, sweeties.
Reasonably well balanced with a very gentle tang and the sweetness is not too excessive. Inevitably it has less flavour than the traditional dark Cream, but the point is it's lightness, and it does match different foods, even if it is not very exciting on its own.
This was the first ever Pale Cream, (hence "Original") launched in the 1970s by International Distillers and Vintners (IDV) who used the name of their Port subsidiary Croft to also sell a range of Sherry, much from the old Gilbey soleras. A huge bodega complex was built, Rancho Croft, and Original challenged Bristol Cream for the top selling position. As a result of various corporate changes Rancho Croft eventually closed and the brand and its soleras were sold to GB. The wine is basically a sweetened Fino and is made from mosto yema (first pressing), fermented in stainless steel and fortified to 15.5%. The wine is aged in solera for about four years as a blend with concentrated sweet Palomino musts. Sugar content is 110 g/l which is a bit lower than most dark Cream Sherry, and Croft is a decent accompaniment to pâtés and soft fruit salads among other delights.
€6.95 in Spain. Widely available.