Sunday, 11 March 2018

Brandy Solera Gran Reserva 38%, Fernando de Castilla

Fairly deep antique mahogany with bright copper highlights fading to amber at the rim.
Exudes class with all the classic characteristics of Brandy de Jerez but in top form. It is crisp with an excellent balance between dried fruit, mainly dates and raisins, and fresh clean oak in which the Sherry is notable but not predominant leaving room for all sorts of nuances like toasted bread and nuts and traces of caramel and aromatic woods. Tight and fresh.
Crisp, full, generous and clean, it makes quite an impact and shows just how good Brandy de Jerez can be. There is no sweetening making it quite dry and there is a hint of tannin - to be expected for its age - giving a hint of grip but not at all aggressive, and there is a roundness which carries it through to impressive length. The quality of the casks is evident and it is beautifully made.
This superb brandy is made from selected pot still holandas - the firm only uses holandas - and aged primarily as añadas and then in solera, in butts previously seasoned with Oloroso and Amontillado, for a total of 15 years. As his family had been involved in the Sherry trade for a couple of centuries, and having worked for Gonzalez Byass, Fernando Andrada Vanderwilde y Contreras decided to set up a firm to produce the finest possible Brandy in Spain. He started out buying brandy from Real Tesoro, eventually buying the Gran Reserva solera, a bodega in Calle Jardinillos and the almacenista Bustamante. The brandy was highly successful and the firm is now run by Jan Petterson, who has added various amazing single cask brandies to the range.
44.50 euros, Birdie Vinos

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