Saturday, 27 January 2018

Vermut 17%, Fernando de Castilla

Deep blacky walnut brown fading to amber.
Rich and bitter at once, there is a nice balance between Sherry - particularly the PX - and botanicals. It is an interesting and different nose and up front are wormwood and cinnamon along with  citric notes, even a hint of resin, and quite a sweet note of raisin leading one to think it will be rather sweet.
It is not really any sweeter than its competitors as the bitterness of the botanicals balance it out giving an alluring almost velvety bitter-sweetness. There is a trace of tannin, from both wine and botanicals one imagines, but no problem, it helps give this fully flavoured vermouth a nice dry, and long finish.
Launched in 2016 this excellent Vermouth is made in the classic Jerez style with a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez which are around eight years old. No fewer than 27 botanicals which are totally natural - no essences - and where possible locally sourced, include wormwood, rosemary, cinnamon, lemon and orange peels and clove, (naturally the formula is a secret) are then macerated in the blend for many months in seasoned butts and it is aged for 8 years. Unlike the long established bodegas with their revived historic formulas, Fernando de Castilla (est.1972) has come up with a new one, and it is very good.
13.50 Birdie Vinos, Mijas

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