Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Oloroso L&B 18%, Bodegas Lorente & Barba

Deep old mahogany with copper highlights fading through amber to a trace of green at the rim.
Attractive, full, fragrant and forthcoming, it has an air of age and class. It is complex with interesting nuances of oak, cinnamon, walnut, vanilla and traces of pasa, orange peel and burnt sugar, but they are all well harmonised into a wine with great character and individuality.
It is full bodied at first and very well rounded with a slight and surprising hint of raisiny sweetness as if just a drop of PX had been added. If so, it is a traditional practice with old wines and perfectly legal. A delightful generous mellowness then follows as it opens out, richly nutty with that trace of brown sugar, beautifully controlled oxidation and very little tannin and the wine finishes slightly lighter than expected yet it has considerable length, and dangerous drinkability. It is quite delicious.
Mauricio Lorente and Julio Barba have established their own bodega based on stocks of wine which have been in the family for a long time, so their wines are new on the market, at least in bottled form. Everything is done by hand by the traditional methods; no pumps, filtration or bottling line here. The bodega building itself is over 500 years old and provides the perfect conditions for ageing. Wines for bottling are taken from the individual solera butts only when they are deemed to be perfect. They are not blended together, so any differences in the wines from each butt are celebrated, and the numbers of the saca, butt and bottle are written on the label. These are single barrel Sherries and there is only ever a maximum of 225 bottles from each butt. This delightful Oloroso has about 18 years solera age, and it comes from saca 2, butt 26 and Oloroso bottle 39. Naturally it was bottled en rama (unfiltered) by hand and has a driven cork.
27.90, La Tienda del Jerez

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