Thursday, 27 April 2017

Palo Cortado Encrucijado 2014 14.5%, Bodegas Cota 45

Mid-depth gold with copper tinted golden highlights, legs.
Pure and very attractive, slightly sweet, ripe dried fruit aromas; semi raisined grapes, quince and apricot and a faint dry, almost bitter balancing flor note. There is a very slight oxidative appley note which, with that hint of flor, gives it more of a Sherry character. "Like it says on the tin", it is at a crossroads: young and still quite fruity, yet with much more serious intent, "proto" Palo Cortado.
Despite all the aforementioned fruit notes it is dry - though there is notable glycerine accentuated by fairly low acidity - quite full, and more Sherry-like. This is oxidatively aged wine at an early stage, something very hard to obtain outside the bodegas and absolutely delicious. Wines like this were once common in the days before the standardisation we now endure. This is brilliant!
This is another fascinating wine from the brilliant Sanluqueño winemaker Ramiro Ibáñez, made in tiny quantities (barely 1,000 litres) at his little bodega Cota 45 on the Bajo de Guía. It is a young Palo Cortado made the old way, using the old grapes: 40% Rey, 40% Perruno and 20% Palomino, all grown in albariza in the Pago Miraflores. After manual harvesting  they undergo 24 hours of sunning giving a natural strength of 14.5% and are foot trodden . It is not fortified. Two reasons why it cannot have a DO, but that doesn't matter. The barrel fermented mosto supports a layer of flor for four months before dying off naturally and the wine is aged statically for two years on its lees, long enough for it to decide its future. It is bottled en rama. In the old days when there was much less Fino, the wines were classified as Palmas, Cortados and Rayas and this is how a Cortado would have been. Encrucijada is Spanish for crossroads, meaning the wine has just decided its direction. It really demonstrates not only the incredible variations Sherry offers, but also the skill of its producers.
22.50 euros, Licores Corredera

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