Monday, 20 March 2017
Brandy Fundador Solera 36%, Pedro Domecq
Light mahogany to amber with golden highlights.
Nice balance between holandas and spirit, given that there can't be much holandas, with notes of oak, nuts, and hints of Oloroso, really quite attractive for basic Jerez Brandy.
Good start with well rounded traces of dried fruits and nuts then Oloroso and hints of oak come through, a trace of caramel sweetness balances it all and it has a good long finish.
This was really the brandy which started it all. For a long time Sherry bodegas had distilled wine for making fortifying spirit and/or ageing it into brandy. Production was quite small and most brandy was used for the personal consumption of the bodegueros, but occasionally it was sold. Pedro Domecq received a large order from a Dutch client for 500 bocoyes (large butts) of excellent brandy. This was duly distilled but after two years of ageing the client was unable to pay so Don Pedro ordered the spirit to be racked into used Sherry butts where it was slowly forgotten.
Five years later the liquid was found to be really special and he decided to produce brandy on a large scale. He imported extra stills and all necessary equipment and steadily built up a solera based on the original spirit and in 1874 launched Fundador, Spain's first commercially produced brandy, to great acclaim. One of the original butts is still kept in the bodega El Molino, signed by King Alfonso XIII in 1904. Domecq went on to produce more brandies: Carlos I, Carlos III and Marqués de Domecq. Eventually, after many corporate comings and goings, Carlos I and III were sold to Osborne and Grupo Emperador bought what was left of Domecq renaming it Bodegas Fundador. Currently they market various versions of Fundador: this standard Fundador Solera , Fundador Gold Reserve Solera Reserva, Fundador Exclusivo Solera Gran Reserva, Fundador Light and Fundador Ultra Smooth. They also produce the Terry brandies.
About 8.50 euros, widely available.