Friday, 13 June 2014

Amontillado Viejo Jalifa 18%, Williams & Humbert

Bright deep amber through golden yellow to trace green at rim, legs.
Full, broad, generous. Lots of nuts, mainly hazelnuts and almond but some walnut too, gentle glyceric sweetness, still some slight bitter traces of flor, oak, very slight vanilla and cinnamon notes along with a hint of turron yema tostada. Quite big, open textured and up-front, wears its heart on its sleeve.
Full bodied and dry with the glycerine almost balancing the oak and a certain tang of acidity. Hints of astringency from the long tears in oak, but very lively and honest - if very slightly leaning towards Oloroso with hints of orange and raisin. But then the hazelnuts kick in again. Quite a mouthful, big chewy and long.
This wine comes from a solera laid down in 1821 by Hijos de Perez Megia in Sanlucar, and is one of the oldest at the bodega. Originally the wine was sold as Manzanilla Amontillada. Incredibly it goes through 15 criaderas in the course of 8 years, and by the sixth it is Amontillado, where things slow down and it takes 22 years to get from there to this numbered bottle. While the wine is easily 30 years old it is one of the many which are not declared as VORS normally because it is too much trouble, and everyone knows the wine is genuine. It reaches its 18% naturally without further fortification.

In Spain around 25-28 Euros, in UK around £33. UK importer Ehrmanns

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