Tuesday, 6 December 2016
Esencia de la Campiña Ice Wine 2003, 16.5%, Viticultores de Jerez
Deep bright blacky browny mahogany fading to amber at the rim, pronounced legs.
Not particularly intense and perhaps slightly one-dimensional but plenty of Moscatel pasa with slight notes of toast and very rich with a hint of toffee.
Sweet but not unctuous, there is a gentle acidity which gives it a fresh tang and carries it through and amplifies the flavour of the dried Moscatel grapes, hints of date, but overall tangy Moscatel if not over intense, reasonable length though.
This interesting wine is no longer produced, however it was made by Viticultores de Jerez, a group of growers who tried to come up with something different using grapes which were excess to requirements. It is made 100% from super ripe Moscatel grapes which are pressed while frozen. Being Spain's first Ice Wine it caused a bit of a sensation when they first showed it at Vinoble in 2004. I first tasted it in 2006 and it was more interesting than amazing, but a very decent wine nonetheless.
Then, in Sanlúcar recently, Manuel Fernández who runs the excellent Hostal Alcoba, very kindly gave me a bottle which he had found in his storeroom. From the lot number it looks to be from 2003, so I was interested to see how it had developed in bottle. And it certainly has. The colour has changed from amber to a much deeper blacky mahogany and the inside of the bottle is lined with sediment yet the wine pours clear. It has also developed some interesting toasty notes and a little more concentration. It is in very good condition. For more details see the post called "Ice Wine - From Jerez?!"
About 10-15 euros per 50cl bottle if memory serves correctly.