Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Brandy Alfonso El Sabio Solera Gran Reserva 40%, Valdespino

Deep mahogany fading through chestnut to amber with a hint of green at the rim.
Fragrant, complex and integrated with lots of exotic wood notes like a cabinetmaker's workshop full of cedar and cypress and a trace of resin. Then there are hints of old Oloroso totally integrated with the wood and a certain fig, date and faint orange sweetness, probably the result of concentration in the solera for so long, but it all comes together beautifully.
Big and imposing at the start with everything coming at once before it settles down and the elegance of those woods starts to come through and the sheer weight begins to restrain itself. There are loads of nuances like toast, nutmeg, vanilla, toasted almond and walnut, date and raisin with a slightly mineral backbone. Some tannin is present giving a dry feel, but the finish is perfectly balanced and very, very long. This could only come from Jerez.
This classic (and superb) brandy has an average age of over 25 years and is aged in ex Oloroso butts. Interestingly it used to be sold younger at only 15 years old with the dates of the King's reign perforated on the label. The name refers to the King of Castilla Alfonso X "El Sabio" (the wise) who defeated the Moors at the battle of Jerez in 1264. One of his knights was Don Alfonso Valdespino who, like the other knights, was rewarded with land, and Valdespino has been in Jerez virtually ever since.
34.90 Licores Corredera

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