Friday, 14 April 2017

Amontillado 3/10 18.5%, Alexander Jules

Light amber with brassy gold highlights, legs.
Very attractive young Amontillado nose, yet still full of zippy Manzanilla-ness. Lurking just behind the softly buttery and gently nutty facade with its slight trace of cinnamon, is a raw, saline windswept Manzanilla. The wine is at a lovely stage, just at the cusp (or just past it?) of being one style or another. It used to be called "Amontillado Fino" but that term can no longer be used.
Delightful tension between the salty Manzanilla and the sweeter Amontillado, and they don't cancel each other out, a little like the idea of salted caramel. There is plenty glyceric nuttiness more or less balanced by a hint of flor driven bitterness, and it has real character, length, and is exciting to drink.
This wonderful wine, of a type rarely seen commercially these days, comes from bodegas Juan Piñero in Sanlúcar. It started life as Manzanilla Maruja which, sixteen clases (criaderas) and the solera later, emerges as Amontillado. This wine was drawn at an interim stage from three butts from two five-butt clases, hence its name. 80% of the saca is from the older clase. The solera is refreshed with mosto from the local Pago Hornillo, and the wine has an average age of 18 years despite its freshness. It was bottled with the absolute minimum of stabilisation in two sacas: 50cl (684 bottles) in June 2016 and 37.5cl (1006 bottles) in October 2016, just under 720 litres in all.  The bottle is sealed with a Diam cork.
25 euros per 50cl, Er Guerrita

This label shows a different strength and bottling date from mine...

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