Thursday, 1 February 2018

Amontillado Viejísimo Conde de Aldama 21%, Bodegas Yuste

Bright chestnut-mahogany with copper glints and a hint of green at the rim.
Magnificently fragrant and complex, and its age is immediately apparent. There are notes of exotic woods like cedar and sandalwood then toasted nuts like almond and hazelnut along with faint notes of dried fruit like date and apricot and a faint trace of iodine. It is not powerful but rather extremely elegant and all the minute nuances are beautifully harmonised into an exotic bouquet.

After a very refined start it opens out revealing intense flavour with lots of charm and a lightness of touch. Tannin is very low for such an old wine and it retains that salty bitterness so characteristic of Sanlúcar along a gentle acidity, a faint balancing hint of caramel and a slight rancio and tobacco note. It is crisp on the palate and very lively with incredible, almost interminable length. Wonderful.
This beautiful and venerable old wine is one of the oldest Sherries around. It is a natural Amontillado, without extra fortification, and now has an average age of 100 years. It comes from a pre-phylloxera solera established in 1740 by Bodegas Aguilar & Cia in Sanlúcar having begun life as Manzanilla and was once owned by the Conde de Aldama. The Conde was unimpressed with the quality of the post-phylloxera wine and sealed his soleras so that  none of it could spoil them, so the wines grew more concentrated and more valuable over many years. It passed through the hands of the now disappeared Manuel Argüeso Hortal and Valdespino before finding its way to Francisco Yuste.
71 euros per 50cl bottle, Licores Corredera

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