Wednesday, 8 February 2017

El Amigo Imaginario 2015 12.5%, Bodegas Forlong

Bright almost lemon yellow to amber with golden highlights, pronounced legs.
Very attractive - big, soft, generous, classy and open with detectable texture from the grape skins. It is not totally unlike a Meursault but has more tropical notes of pineapple and mango along with a gentle nutty and slightly mineral undertow. The Oloroso is notable more for its contribution to the complexity of the nose than for its aroma, but there is a tantalising something there. 
Every bit as sophisticated as the nose. There is a perfect and exhilarating balance of fruit and gentle acidity, with an easygoing texture and a delightful almond nuttiness with an intensity of flavour which lingers on and on. There is even a very slight trace of ginger or cinnamon like German Lebküchen on the finish. This wine is superb.
This innovative wine is made by inspired winemakers Rocío Áspero and Alejandro Narváez who have just released it. It is made by the red wine process in their small bodega near El Puerto de Santa María. It is made from old vine 100% Balbaina Alta Palomino grapes, grown organically in albariza. The grapes are picked and sorted by hand in the vineyard and, on arrival at the bodega in plastic boxes, they are refrigerated to around 3-4 C for 24 hours. They are then sorted again before being de-stemmed, and the whole grapes are put into a temperature- controlled tank where fermentation takes place with natural yeasts. During the 25 days of fermentation the wine is stirred daily for better extraction, and after fermentation the wine and skins go to the press. The skin-free wine is then transferred to a butt (yes, just one butt!) seasoned with Oloroso which is filled to the top to avoid flor and oxidation, and here it undergoes its malo-lactic fermentation, remaining there for 10 months before being aged in bottle for 4 months before sale. Only 612 hand numbered bottles were produced, all sealed with wax and a driven cork on which are printed quotes from Walt Whitman.
16 euros from Licores Corredera

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