AppearanceDeep bright walnut tinted brown with bright copper highlights fading through amber to a trace of green at the rim, legs.
NoseIntense and complex with interesting and unusual spicy notes of cinnamon and clove followed by hints of orange, praline, garrapiñada (toasted almond in caramel) and a certain implied sweetness. This is not a standard Amontillado nose but is very attractive nonetheless.
PalateFull and intense, it is virtually dry but for a gram or two of sweetness which rounds off any austerity from the oak, yet leaves a dry finish aided by some volatile acidity. There is considerable mid-palate charm with a spicy orangey nuttiness which lingers for ages, reminding one slightly of Christmas. There is a gentle texture and very little tannin which is not balanced out.
CommentsThis superb and very characterful old Amontillado is available in very limited quantities in numbered bottles. This one was number 2103. The RE number is that of Zoilo Ruiz Mateos who actually make the wine from the original Sandeman soleras. Esmeralda comes from an old solera bought by Sandeman in 1894 (along with the Oloroso solera known as Royal Corregidor and the PX solera known as Royal Ambrosante - in total, 800 butts) from Antonio Bernaldo Quirós who had inherited them from his father in 1855. It is not known precisely how old this solera is, but it is well over 150 years, which accounts for the wine's immense complexity.
22 euros per 50cl bottle from Licores Corredera