Sunday, 19 February 2017
Oloroso Alburejo 18%, Bodegas Pilar Aranda
Deep dark mahogany fading to amber with the faintest trace of green at the rim, legs.
Serious, quite intense with tangy notes of volatile acidity with traces of raisin, oak, nuts, fallen leaves, tobacco and dried cereals. It smells quite old and complex yet is rounded off by a slight caramel note.
Full bodied with a very dry feel, not so much from tannin - though there is a little - but by the tangy acidity which also gives it zest. It has a little of the austerity and seriousness of the old wines, but not so intensely. That caramel note helps with balance to make a really interesting and rare experience.
While the label on this bottle bears the name of the famous old almacenista Pilar Aranda, who was the first to register with the Consejo Regulador in 1933, it was actually contract bottled for Álvaro Domecq, presumably as he didn't yet have his own bottling registration (RE) number. He bought the bodega in 1999 and has since sold the wine under the Alburejo brand, named after his estate outside Jerez where he bred horses. This ties in with the coat of arms at the top of the label which shows two horses, spurs and a banderilla (a decorated barbed stick used by bullfighters) and a legend which says Nacer de Nuevo (to be born again). The coat of arms also appears on the cork. So this wine was bottled in the very early days of Bodegas Álvaro Domecq and must have about 16 or 17 years in bottle plus its solera age which is given as over 7 years. It certainly had plenty of sediment and a thick plastic capsule of a type no longer used. I thought about marking these notes "retaste" but really the wine is different to the Alburejo of today (QV).
21 euros from Licores Corredera