Sunday, 23 July 2017

Amontillado de Bandera VORS 18.5%, M Gil Luque

Burnished antique mahogany fading through amber to a trace of green at the rim.
Forthcoming and fragrant, textbook Amontillado and more; fresh and crisp with that enticing aroma of toasted nuts and a trace of almost caramel sweetness, notes of fine quality oak - even exotic woods and a faint hint of linseed oil and resin -  and none of it spoiled by excess alcohol, which is modest for its age of over 30 years. Enough tartaric/volatile acidity to give it the necessary bite.
On the full side at the start but opens out into an excellent, supremely elegant, dry, nutty characterful wine. Gently crisp acidity provides freshness and poise unhindered by tannin and balances beautifully with the glycerol and nuts. This is an outstandingly stylish Amontillado with amazing length.
The bodega dates back to the end of the XIX century and acquired its name when bought by Manuel Gil Luque in 1912. Shortly before it was taken over by La Guita in 1984, Gil Luque bought some very old soleras from Fernando Carrasco Sagastizábal, which may have belonged to Tomás Geraldino Croquer (the Irishman Thomas Fitzgerald) whose bodega was established in 1840. In 2007 La Guita was bought by Grupo Estévez, and the De Bandera wines have all but disappeared from the market, though the soleras are still looked after. The brand name De Bandera translates as flagship (not in the naval sense) and this wine certainly is. It is sealed with a stopper cork smothered in wax. I was rather lucky to get hold of this slice of history.
80 euros, Er Guerrita

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