Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Armada Cream 17.5%, Sandeman

Deep transparent copper tinted mahogany with a trace of green to rim, legs.
At first walnuts and old oak barrels, then a surface aroma of PX leading into the depths of old Oloroso, traces earthiness, toasted nuts, raisins, dried figs and a trace of cinnamon. An interesting nose, well balanced between the PX and Oloroso, like a good Cream should be.
Fairly light with an attractive open textured mellow quality, nicely balanced and not over sweet. One can appreciate the PX and Oloroso separately, but they work really well as a fully integrated blend. Figs, raisins old barrels and walnuts sum it up, and it has very good length with a clean uncloying finish.
A very good and very old brand of Cream. The Oloroso is about ten years old and is 90% of the blend with PX being 10%. The total sugar content is 134 g/l which is not excessive and allows flavour to come through without cloying. The Oloroso at least might come from an old Pemartin solera, who knows?! Anyway, on Sandeman's website the wine is labelled "Superior Cream" (below) and this one is labelled "Rich Cream Oloroso". I doubt there is any difference (other than marketing), but I thought I'd mention it.
£12-14 A little more than the heavily promoted Bristol Cream, but less complex and more enjoyable. UK importers: Stevens Garnier.

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