Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Palo Cortado de la Cruz de 1767 20%, Bodegas Arfe

Bright amber with orange and gold highlights, legs.
Attractive, open nose, very refined with toasted hazelnut and almond up front with background traces of warm spice:vanilla and cinnamon, freshly sawn wood  and the gentle sweetness of raisin.
Even more refined on the palate and slightly more integrated than the nose, it is on the light side but bursting with flavour. The warm spice and wood notes persist giving it a slightly exotic character and offer a hint of bitterness and a gentle acidity which are balanced out by that trace of glyceric sweetness. It has very good length leaving a sophisticated flavour on the palate.
Only released onto the market at the end of last year and limited to 6,000 bottles per annum this comes from a bodega which uniquely specialises in Palo Cortado (although they do make small quantities of Fino, Amontillado and Oloroso, but specifically for Club Arfe). This wine has an average age of about 15 years (which could be legally stated on the label, but isn't) and comes from some 216 butts arranged as a solera of 72 butts with two criaderas. It is contract bottled en rama by Esporsil. Luis Arroyo selects his mosto at the sobretablas (newly fortified stage) from the cooperative at Chipiona and feels that since the old bodega used to have a reputation for producing good Fino due to its elevated position, it can therefore produce good Palo Cortado - which he has done from scratch. 20 years as an oenologist at Garvey has stood him in good stead, and his wine is excellent. The digital wine guide wineup.es has just given it over 95 points.
42 euros at Licores Corredera, Jerez

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