Sunday, 11 February 2018

Zerej II Oloroso 19.5%, Bodegas Barbadillo

Bright chestnut with brassy, coppery tints fading to amber.
Refined, vibrant and very fresh and attractive with slight wood and walnut notes along with a touch of Sanlúcar zip - it is lighter and slightly crisper than a Jerez Oloroso with a trace of salt. It is very complex and it is difficult to pick out some of themore subtle nuances, but there are hints of caramel, turron yema tostada, toasted bread and almond, very elegant. 
Fresh and crisp at the start then it opens out with flavours of tobacco, toasted nuts and leather, while there is a decent acidity keeping it fresh and very little tannin. It is lively on the palate and super clean with lots of flavour and character yet light and surprisingly intense with a long warming finish.
Barbadillo was established in 1821 and the Oloroso solera predates it, with some of the older butts being made from chestnut. This beautifully rounded wine comes from a butt carefully selected by Montse Molina and Armando Guerra from the 4th criadera. That sounds rather young, but then there are 13 criaderas in total, and this characterful wine has an average age of some 12 years. Naturally it was bottled without any filtration or stabilisation. This would be a fantastic partner for Iberico pork or lamb, even beef, and the classic local dish, Berza.
180 euros for the mixed set of four magnums, no individual price, but excellent value.

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