Sunday, 22 January 2017

Palo Cortado Conde de Aldama 21.5%, Bodegas Yuste

Walnut through mahogany to amber with faint green tinge at the rim, legs.
Super fragrant with pronounced toasted hazelnut and almond aromas, a slight trace of oak and exotic woods with a gentle impression of sweetness balanced by a fresh almost crisp salty air. There is a distant trace of cinnamon too, which together with the exotic woods gives the wine a slightly spicy edge to match the hint of nutty sweetness. What a good start.
Equally complex and expansive on the palate it opens with lots of nuts and still has that impression of sweetness, yet it is dry with barely discernible notes of tannin and volatile acidity. This wine veers more to the Amontillado end of the Palo Cortado scale with its sheer elegance and hazelnut flavours, but there is an Oloroso-like generosity which is reined in. There are no rough edges in this beautifully poised old wine which lingers cleanly on the palate for ages, and it is quite delicious.
This is a very old and rare wine from an XVIII century solera of only 8 butts which once belonged to the Conde de Aldama in Sanlúcar. He was a very quality conscious man and had the solera sealed with plaster for 50 years to ensure no inferior wines from grafted vines went into it. This aged the wine considerably making it exceptionally fine. It is now stored in Yuste's bodega Los Angeles and the wine is released in very limited quantities. It is much older than a VORS but what with all the attendant hassle some bodegas don't bother applying, especially if quantities are so limited, and can easily sell the wine on its quality and the bodega's reputation. Besides VORS only guarantees a wine is a minimum average age of 30 years and there is no higher category for seriously old wines.
75 euros per 50cl decanter from Er Guerrita

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