Sunday, 27 March 2016
Oloroso 20% Old & Plus, Sánchez Romate
Deep, dark, walnut-stained mahogany fading through amber to a hint of green at the rim, legs - I'm sure this is very slightly more viscous than most, it moves more slowly in the glass.
Intense slightly tight yet refined, it instantly tells you it is old, serious, deep and brooding, with notes of exotic woods like cedar, old oak butts, hints of cinnamon-spiced old English marmalade and the smell of an antique furniture shop.
Concentrated and full bodied at first yet opens out like a fan with all sorts of beautiful nutty flavours and even textures. For an exceptionally old wine it has remarkably little tannin and lacks the slight austerity of some of its peers. That slight viscosity, which might have presaged a sweet element, simply rounds it off; it is dry, luxuriant and very long, quite delicious.
This superb Oloroso is well over 30 years old yet the bodega apparently chooses not to call it VORS. This is probably because it is an expensive and time consuming process which not all bodegas adhere to. They are not quite sure how old the solera is, but it is certainly very old, well over a century, possibly two, after all the bodega dates from 1781. In the end the wine speaks eloquently for itself. The firm makes two other Old & Plus wines: Amontillado and PX and these "sacristía wines were always kept for family use with only very limited quantities reaching the market since the launch in 2009. In a tasting at the time of 24 fine Olorosos by elmundovino.com this one came out top.
40 euros per 50cl ship's decanter style bottle (it comes in a box)