Tuesday 30 June 2015

An Interview with Beltrán Domecq

The president of the Consejo Regulador has been in Edinburgh for the first screening of El Misterio del Palo Cortado. I was lucky enough to spend an hour or two with him discussing all things Sherry and tasting some Palos Cortados, no fewer than eight in fact. He is a most delightful man and knows more about Sherry than one could imagine there is to know, so you can guess what an honour it was to sip fine Palo Cortado and talk about Sherry. 

We covered a wide range of subjects, far too many to cover here, but here are the main ones:

Finos and Manzanillas en rama and whether bottle age is good or not. Most labels will urge you to drink them super fresh, but Jesús Barquín of Equipo Navazos is convinced that they, like any other fine wine, will age well in bottle. Certainly I have enjoyed many which have spent some years in bottle, and their development seems to impart more oxidative and olive brine notes, but I (and friends in the trade)still enjoyed them – as much out of interest as for the flavour. Beltrán felt that they were over oxidised, and that they were already much older than most wines before they even went into bottle, and that was enough. As to the oxidation, I wondered where it came from, given that recent tastings of I Think were from dark bottles correctly stored out of the light in a cool cellar with Stelvin screwcaps. He reckoned that it partly depended how they were bottled, whether or not inert gas was used on the bottling line, and partly the effect of bottle age. We may have to beg to differ on this one, but the more Sherry one drinks, the more one appreciates the amazing nuances of flavour these wines offer. Many people might say the wine is quite simply “off”, but to some of us it simply getting more interesting.

Then we discussed the work of Willi Pérez who is experimenting in a serious way with unfortified vintage Fino from the Corregidor vineyard. This reaches its alcoholic strength naturally as the grapes are picked later. Another experimenter is Ramiro Ibáñez who has been making Palo Cortado to sell at 2 years of age called “Encrucijado” using about 50% grapes no longer authorised. Neither wine can carry the DO label, but the Consejo is interested and pleased that young winemakers like these are in the area. Who knows yet what will come of it.

The “Presupuesto” or the Consejo budget. I ventured how impressed I was by the achievements of the Consejo with such a small budget, one eighth of that of Rioja. Sherry has tripled its media presence, the Consejo has opened an excellent visitor centre, Sherryfest, The Big Sherry Tasting, the Copa Jerez and much more is going on, not to mention the lovely Palo Cortado film and all the tastings which accompany it. Given that Sherry is a much more complex and multi-faceted wine than any other, with a tradition of elderly drinkers, it needs much more promotional work than most wines. It needs a larger budget but how can it be increased?

At the moment, the contributions from the sector come from the growers paying per kilo and the bodegas paying per litre. Beltrán felt that the (very low) price paid by the bodegas to the growers per kilo should increase so that it was profitable to grow grapes, and thus provide an incentive to grow better grapes. The bodegas could pay more, and while some spend considerable amounts on their own promotion, more should be encouraged to do so, ideally advertising generically in the process. More bodegas could involve themselves in promotion abroad with a presence at international tastings, which should increase sales and therefore budget contributions. It is not that González Byass (for example) are ubiquitous, but more that they make a real effort, and many more should be doing that – given their budgets.

Next we discussed “balance”. There is a positive air in the trade as sales of “proper Sherry” are beginning to take pride of place, especially in gastronomic circles. Slowly people are beginning to see how good and how versatile Sherry really is. Overstocks are reducing as the balance of supply and demand is now restored to where it was before the last boom. Stocks are maturing nicely and new styles have been introduced successfully over the last 20 years or so, such as En Rama, VOS, VORS, 12 Years Old and 15 Years Old which offer a prestige wine and attract connoisseurs.

The vineyards. Now that the excess vineyards have been grubbed up, the Consejo has undertaken a huge project to map and identify all the pagos within the Denominación de Origen giving more precision than before. Beltrán was cagey about the notion of introducing something along the lines of “Grand Cru” vineyards, at least for the moment.  He did, however support the idea of single vineyard Sherry, pointing out that even now, one or two genuinely are.

On the subject of Manzanilla and its legendary saltiness, we talked about the research of a couple of years ago undertaken by Aecovi which showed that there was more salt in Sanlúcar vineyards. Beltrán pointed out that this would only be the case in vineyards very close to the sea, and many are not. Besides, grapes for Manzanilla can come from anywhere in the zone, they just have to AGE in Sanlúcar. In the end it must come from the moist winds blowing through the bodegas.

There are more Women in the Sherry business now, and we agreed it is a good thing. There are some important winemakers like Montse Molina (Barbadillo), Paola Medina (Williams & Humbert), Ana Cabestrero (Maestro Sierra), Maribel Estévez (Grupo Estévez) and Carmen Romero (Aecovi).

Beltrán had brought some Palos Cortados to taste: (Tasting notes are already posted)

Palo Cortado Pedro’s Almacenista Selection (Cayetano del Pino for Majestic)
Antique Palo Cortado (Fernando de Castilla)
Palo Cortado Leonor (González Byass)
Palo Cortado Wellington VOS (Hidalgo La Gitana)
Palo Cortado Obispo Gascón (Barbadillo)
Dos Cortados VOS (Williams & Humbert)
Palo Cortado VORS (Bodegas Tradición)
Very Old Palo Cortado Blend Medium VORS (Harveys)

The evening was spent at Drinkmonger Edinburgh, where Beltrán very kindly gave an excellent general Sherry tasting after having given the staff a tutorial during the afternoon. He must have been exhausted, but everyone in Edinburgh, not least myself,  is extremely grateful to him for all he did, for us and for Sherry, and I am certain the “Beltrán effect” will have more people drinking and enjoying this wonderful wine: Sherry.

PS: His book, "Sherry Uncovered" is an essential title in a Sherry lover's library, and is available at Amazon and the Consejo Regulador. It is a revised version of the Spanish original "El Jerez y sus Misterios".

30.6.15 Aecovi Administration

While some bankruptcy administrations take a very long time, it seems that in the case of Aecovi, the largest cooperative in Jerez, it will be concluded in record time, hopefully by the end of July.  The administrator appointed by the mercantile court of Cádiz has received permission to sell off perishable assets such as wine, vinegar and brandy, and to pay off the 12 staff whose wages were two months behind. The banks will probably get the buildings.

The Alejandro range (foto:diariojerez)
Income was not sufficient to cover interest payments and general expenses, especially those of the brave attempt to modernise and diversify. Towards the end of the 1980s Aecovi decided to market its own brands to help reduce excess production, good brands which were beginning to meet some success in export markets: Alejandro, Santiago and Miralamar. They were even close to producing the first organic Sherry. This is all a terrible shame.

Monday 29 June 2015

Bodegas: Juan Piñero SL

This is a comparatively new bodega in Sanlúcar, established as recently as 1992 by Juan Piñero who made his money in construction. He began by buying from Argueso a bodega of 3,000 square metres in the Calle Trasbolsa in the Barrio Bajo (lower district) of Sanlúcar which, after some repairs and refurbishment of the central patio with orange trees, was fit again for purpose. It was built in the 1920s to resemble the great bodega La Arboledilla, and is a classic Sanlúcar bodega orientated east-west to catch the maritime breezes and with a high roof, earth floor and enormous windows: perfect for creating Manzanilla. For the first few years he supplied wine to La Gitana, but that meant working to suit them. With the arrival in 2013 of Ramiro Ibáñez as oenologist Juan took the decision to sell his own  brands, and with great success.

Anyway, in 1993, he bought 1,800 well-seasoned American oak butts, each of 30 arrobas (or 500 litres) capacity. Then he bought a Manzanilla solera of 400 butts the same size as well as young wines from the Pago el Cuadrado vineyards. Eager to keep on improving, in 2000 he bought the old Pedro Domecq bodega in the Calle Alcoba, along with the Manzanilla Maruja soleras which once belonged to Fernando A de Terry. These were moved to the bodega in Calle Trasbolsa where conditions were now perfect for Manzanilla.

The Terry label for Maruja
In 2007, being keen to offer a bigger range of wines, he bought another old bodega in the historic centre of Jerez, in the Calle Francisco Javier. This bodega extends to 800 square metres, has an earth floor, high roof and thick walls to regulate the heat, and houses the solera Fino Camborio which once also belonged to Fernando A de Terry in El Puerto de Santa María. There are also 750 very old American oak butts of very old Oloroso which he bought. 

Juan Pinero's label for Maruja
The range consists of - from Sanlúcar:
Manzanilla Maruja: over 8 years old, El Hornillo must fermented at vineyard 8 criaderas and 8-10 sacas per year.
Manzanilla Jarona: as above but over 3 years old, 3 criaderas, 8-10 sacas (jarona is slang for "vague")
Amontillado at over 15 years old,
Palo Cortado at much the same age
From Jerez:
Fino Camborio
Oloroso at about 25 years old
And the sweet wines: Moscatel at about 7 years, Cream at about 12 years and PX at about 7 years.

The Manzanilla Maruja has an interesting history. In the early XX century tastes were changing from heavier Olorosos to a lighter style. Manzanilla took off and bodegueros wanted some. Fernando A de Terry wanted to register one as “Maria” but was prevented from doing so as there was already a biscuit of this name. He ended up with the most similar sounding name he could think of, Maruja, (which while a girl’s name, also translates roughly as “housewife” or “maid”). The Civil War ruined business in the domestic market, but it picked up again in the 1940s and Maruja was popular. The solera, in reality Fino, was at El Puerto but was refreshed until the mid- 1950s with large amounts of Manzanilla bought from Barbadillo. This worked well till Manzanilla started to go out of fashion again and as the soleras were no longer refreshed with it, the wine became almost Amontillado and then back to Fino again. In 1985 Terry was bought after the expropriation of Rumasa by Allied Domecq which was dismembered in 2005 by Beam and Pernod Ricard, and Terry along with the Maruja soleras went to Beam, and ultimately to Juan Piñero. So this wine has had many guises since it began.

Address: Calle Trasbolsa, 35,  11540 Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz
Telephone: 956 360 465
Visits: Yes, by appointment

Sunday 28 June 2015

Bodegas Tradición Restores and Catalogues Historic Archive

An altarpiece by Juan de Leví from the late XIV century, a dossier from 1666, a wooden plaque from 1650, and 80 year old wine… the passage of time runs through every inch of these bodegas which seem to have been here almost for ever in this enclave of the Calle Cordobeses. Here can be found their well- known art gallery containing over 300 Spanish works from the XV to the XIX centuries, their beautifully aged and sought-after wines and here is where they continue working with history, now with the restoration of the bodega archive.

In a large, fresh, recently restored room thousands of documents are being researched. Well-ordered and stored in boxes they lie on an elongated table awaiting their turn to be cleaned, catalogued and read by Manuel Marín. The quality of the paper and the ink and the fact that they have been stored so long without being moved mean that the great majority have been preserved in good condition, although it has not been possible to restore all of them. The archive comes from the bodega CZ (Cabeza y Zarco) which is thought to be the oldest documented bodega in Jerez dating from 1650, although the oldest document found so far is from 1666. “Hopefully older ones could still be discovered,” says Helena Rivero, president of the bodega.

Manuel Marin at work
The documents have been fumigated, removed from the boxes and had the dirt removed, one by one. Wrinkled ones are put through a press. The plan is to digitalise them so they can be consulted easily. According to Javier Maldonado Rosso, one of the foremost historians of Sherry, “the Sherry business could not be fully understood without these archives.” He says that in these papers the move to industrialisation can be seen, when the bodegas controlled everything including the price until the arrival of the almacenistas when they lost total control. A legal case legitimised the latter and thus the whole Sherry production process changed from winemaking to wine growing and making. This happened in Jerez before anywhere else.

Part of the archive and its condition (foto:diario jerez)
These documents have passed through the hands of the different owners of the firm until arriving in the hands of the Rivero family, after “difficult” negotiations with Antonio Núñez Terriza, who found it very hard sentimentally to let go of the dossiers. In the boxes they have found cheques from the British Royal Household for wine orders and official documents which show that wine which was in some ships which returned from the battle of Trafalgar formed the solera for the fine Trafalgar 1805 Sherry brand which was prestigious in its day. The dossiers, very few of which are of a personal nature, include photographs of when Joaquín María Rivero, grandfather of the current owner and married to an heiress of Cabeza y Zarco in the XIX century, took over the bodega and added his name to the firm’s title. He would then undertake a process of internationalisation so many more were aware of the prestige of the brand. The history of this bodega is practically unknown to most Jerezanos yet it has been in the heart of the city for centuries.

Just like the wine in its butts which needs time and can’t be hurried, this archive is also taking time: the time Manuel Marín needs every day to put in order books of accounts, books of formulas - written in symbols so they couldn’t be copied - letters with documents which state how when the Marqués de Montana died in 1785 the bells tolled at all the Jerez churches joined by those of the convents which no longer exist; a letter from the minister for Development from 1906 informing Joaquín María Rivero in the most prosaic (or perhaps respectful) way that he was virtually bust.

There are myriad documents covering the XVII to the XX centuries which include important references to the vineyards, what they were like originally and how the countryside changed. There are hundreds of letters, work diaries or more modern things. For example there is a 1943 contract in which it states that 1,000 cases of CZ brandy were sold in Tangier at 100 pesetas each, despite the fact that no one is supposed to drink alcohol there. “There is so much information which is so useful to document the history of how they thought historically. We’ve been thinking about the ink they used which is very good quality,” says Helena Rivero, conservator of the art collection and also the archive. “Also the paper is what used to be called “cloth paper” which has cotton in it, not cellulose which wood lice like to eat, and has a parchment feel to it.” Despite the huge amount of documentation, Helena is surprised by how few photographs there are, but “we are anxious to read all there is and impatient to come across more information so we can connect everything. My great grandfather was concerned to conserve the archives, for which we have to thank him.”

Helena Rivero
On Manuel’s work table there are piles of dust and dirt from the dossiers which grow every day with every stroke of the cleaning brush on the paper, and a special kind of rubber cleans off impurities. Meanwhile violin music sings from the radio, making the conservator’s work still more delicate.

To make the archives available to researchers and visitors, time is still needed to clean everything up, as Helena jokes: “anywhere between one year and ten years.” In time the archive room will be fitted out with shelving to store the documents as well as an area for study. For storage a series of files have been commissioned with the Rivero crest, made from a special material which is PH neutral.

Saturday 27 June 2015

27.6.15 Ruiz Mateos Home; Sherryfest New York

José María Ruiz Mateos has been released from prison on health grounds after his doctor submitted a report citing Parkinson’s disease. The 84 year old had been taken from the prison after one night to the Gregorio Marañón hospital after his condition worsened. His family have taken him back to his matrimonial home in Madrid.

New York has enjoyed the return of Sherryfest which ran from the 23rd to the 25thof this week. After the event’s success in 2012 it has moved around other cities in the USA, Canada and Spain. The Big Apple seems to have a thirst for Sherry which is winning great popularity among experts and wine lovers, chief of whom is Peter Liem, who initiated the 2012 event with the support of the Consejo Regulador.

L-R Peter Liem, Antonio Flores, Cesar Saldana at Sherryfest NY
The formula works, and the city was inundated with all things Sherry including seminars, tastings and gastronomic events. The Grand Tasting beat the previous record of 500 tasters leaving Peter Liem in no doubt as to how popular Sherry is becoming. The tasting featured 20 bodegas showing 140 wines, and top bodegueros were on hand such as Paola Medina (Williams& Humbert), Montse Molina (Barbadillo) and Lorenzo García Iglesias of Tradición.

Consejo Director César Saldaña participated in sessions aimed at young restaurant professionals and wine lovers on subjects like Crianza Biológica, Palos Cortados, VOS and VORS Wines and the Diversity of Sherry. They were delighted to try wines hitherto unavailable in the USA and in the opportunity to try them with menus prepared by the restaurants. In César’s words “Sherryfest is a magnificent example of the interest these great wines are awakening in professionals all over the world. It is very satisfying to have such a professional and young audience which has real admiration for the quality we produce and its great potential in world gastronomy.”

Friday 26 June 2015

Manzanilla en Rama I Think 15% Saca Abril 2012, Equipo Navazos

Deepish strawy brassy gold, almost perfectly bright with some legs.
Intense Sanlúcar character: salty and briny with strong flor notes and a trace of oxidation and that smell from rope used to tie up fishing boats, dry scrubland that has just seen a little rain, a trace of olives, autolysis, yeasty sourdough, but overall very maritime. This is full-on and wildly attractive.
Full, it has quite a tang as well as lots of flor bitterness, salty and yeasty, and despite that trace of oxidation , the oleic note and a hint of autolysis it tastes very fresh. It is a beautifully constituted wine bursting with character and has terrific length. Fine seafood deserves no less.
Manzanillas and Finos tend to be drawn from the solera in spring or autumn, when the flor is thicker. This is a spring 2012 bottling of I Think with 4 ½ years average age in the La Guita solera. It is a wine that demonstrates really well how much character is lost through stabilisation. For fun, try it alongside a glass of normal La Guita, and you’ll see the difference. This was the second release and was only exported to the UK, USA and Australia, each of which received about a third of this bottling of around 5,000 half bottles.

Around £ 10.00 from Drinkmonger Edinburgh. UK distributor is Alliance Wine

26.6.15 Delgado Zuleta Invest in the Future

According to a communiqué from the firm, shareholders have unanimously agreed to an “important” increase in the firm’s capital in order to consolidate growth, realise the international potential and develop new products. The bodega has over 150 shareholders but will maintain its 280 year old family business status.
Inside the bodega (foto:andalusiatourtravel)
On one hand the firm operates in a very traditional way especially with the Manzanillas, and on the other hand it has a contemporary vision of business and innovation to keep up with new market tastes. Founded in 1744, Delgado Zuleta is the oldest firm still trading in the area and exports to 20 countries under the watchwords of “Quality, Identity and Singularity”.

Thursday 25 June 2015

25.6.15 Zarcillo Awards 2015

Premios Zarcillo is a biennial wine competition originally national but since 1999 international. This, therefore was the XVI national edition and the VIII international edition. Zarcillo is the Spanish word for a tendril. The following Sherries won the following awards.

Gran Zarcillo de Oro:
PX Noé (González Byass)

Zarcilla de Oro:
Palo Cortado Apóstoles and Fino Tio Pepe (González Byass)
Moscatel Los Madroñales and Moscatel Pasas Los Madroñales (Bodega Coop Católico Agricola)

Wednesday 24 June 2015

24.6.15 Review of “El Misterio del Palo Cortado”

Produced by Antonio Saura and directed by José Luís López Linares, it is a 90 minute documentary in Spanish with subtitles.

Antonio Saura and Jose Luis Lopez Linares
This impressive and charming film will do wonders for the promotion of Sherry and its enjoyment. Through the voices of many of the characters in the Sherry business, it subtly gets the message across that Sherry is not remotely stuffy, and that it has a complexity and history far beyond that found in other great wines. It is also one of the most natural wines, hence the mystery.

There are roundtable sessions with winemakers and other experts passionately discussing this mystical liquid. There are Michelin starred chefs inspired to create new food matches. There are cellarmasters demonstrating all the cask markings and bodega procedures. There are lovely interludes of old film recalling the methods and bodegas of the past. There are even interludes with flamenco – suitably fuelled with Sherry of course, and music from Manuel de Falla.

If this sounds scrappy, it is not. The film succeeds in transmitting the fascinating and inimitable atmosphere of Jerez through beautiful photography, and impassioned dialogue leaving you spellbound and wishing it would never end. It certainly made a deep impression on the filmmakers themselves. So is the mystery solved? That would be a terrible shame.

24.6.15 Dia de la Manzanilla; Civil Guard Impound Falsified Sherry

There’s only one thing better than a Manzanilla Day, and that’s three. The event will run from Friday 26th June till Sunday 28th and lots of activities are planned: visits to the Guzman Palace, Bodegas, Goyatherapy and tastings. The idea is for Sanluqueños and visitors to know more about and appreciate their city and what it makes – while having a good time. The mayor, Víctor Mora has encouraged all the locals to become ambassadors for Manzanilla wherever they go.

Seprona (a division of the Guardia Civil) has been running “Operación Resaca” (hangover) to investigate how “Manzanilla especial para rebujito” (rebujito = Sherry mixed with 7 UP or similar, widely drunk at Ferias) could be sold to feria stallholders for less than the cost of its production. Seprona, which has been working in conjunction with the Junta Ministry of Health and the Consejo Regulador, has impounded 41,000 litres of wine with falsified Denominación de Origen Jerez and Manzanilla.

A man has been charged with offenses of industrial impropriety, consumer fraud and unhygienic production, storage and bottling, and his operation has been closed down. There are two fundamental problems with this kind of activity. Genuine producers cannot compete on price and thus lose sales, and it damages the image of a legendary wine which gives employment to many families.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

23.6.15 "Probably the Best Manzanilla in the World"

It has a very strange name – or rather number: 11540 which is the postcode for Sanlúcar. It is a Manzanilla Pasada bottled en rama at 9 years old, and is blended from the 6 or 7 best butts from the 15 or 16 oldest butts from which they bottle the Barbadillo En Rama. These are kept at Barbadillo’s Arboledilla bodega where they keep the oldest Manzanilla soleras. The firm has a total of 31,800 butts of Manzanilla.
There has only been one saca so far (June 2015) consisting of 750 bottles especially for the Madrid restaurant Surtopia. The project is the brainchild of the restaurant’s chef and “fac totum” a Sanluqueño called José Calleja who is totally enamoured of all things Sanlúcar. He reckons the wine should improve in bottle for over 10 years but is already thinking about a Palo Cortado.

Should you be in Madrid, Surtopia is at Calle Nuñez  de Balboa, 106 in the Castellana district.

Monday 22 June 2015

22.6.15 The Consejo Forecasts a Harvest Similar to Last Year

The 2014 harvest closed with production of some 6.5 million Kilos with a yield of about 10,000 kilos per hectare. While this does not represent a particularly large crop it is very similar to the bodegas’ estimates for this year. With the caveat that weather conditions could change in the run up to the harvest, the Consejo is content that these figures would suffice to rotate stocks in the bodegas.

“It is still early days and everything could change, but rainfall has been slightly lower than usual and budding was slightly later than usual but it caught up,” explains César Saldaña, director of the Consejo. “The research we have done indicates that yields from vineyards planted to vara y pulgar (the traditional pruning system) will be up by about 5% and those for double cordon (the pruning system for mechanical harvesting) will be practically the same as last year.” He points out that quite a lot of Levante wind (a hot dry wind from the East) is expected, so we should wait and see what happens in July and the first fortnight of August, as the Levante can reduce yields.

Working in the vineyards (foto:Pascual/diariodejerez)
César also said that “if the harvest comes in similar to that of last year – perfect - there will not be any problem with rotating stocks in the bodegas. Right now we have stocks for 3.8 years, and although we would have to analyse the situation at each bodega, I don’t believe there will be a rotation problem with the sector as a whole.”

He mentioned a potential problem with the availability of butts due to increased demand for them for other uses such as cask seasoning for Malt Whisky and Vinagre de Jerez, but is hopeful that this will not be too much of an issue.

As to the health of the grapes, César said that given that the critical period is yet to come, all is well so far. Attacks by Lobesia Botrana, the grape moth, one of the major pests in the area, have been relatively few. Green spider has been present as well but there is a treatment for that, and the Levante winds have so far kept the vineyards healthy.

The 2014 harvest was 20% lower than the huge 2013, but 2014 and that predicted for 2015 are pretty close to the normal yield. 2014 was also the earliest harvest on record.

Manzanilla I Think

The other day I had dinner at home with my friend Roberto, who runs Edinburgh's fantastic Goya 23 Spanish deli. We had a couple of half bottles of Manzanilla I Think from Equipo Navazos which I had managed to obtain: a 2010 bottling and a 2014 bottling, and we decided to compare them. Roberto took a picture which he sent out on Twitter asking "which won?" This received a torrent of replies asking which did win, so here is the answer. Both!

In the following two posts you will find the tasting notes. The previous 2010 notes were published three years ago, and make an interesting comparison with those below as to how the wine is evolving. All three wines were classic Manzanillas and had the characteristics of the same stable, La Guita. The 2010 was superb, and proves beyond doubt how well Manzanilla can evolve in bottle - like any fine wine. It was softer, rounder and much more complex, while the 2014 was more akin to the 2010 three years ago, zippier and more racy, but equally delicious. It all just goes to show that good wine is a living thing and is always extremely interesting at any stage of its development.

Please also see notes on the Saca de abril 2012 which turned up a week or two later. Also seriously interesting and with a strong common denominator.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Manzanilla en Rama I Think 15%, Equipo Navazos, saca de Octubre 2010 (Retaste)

Quite deep, almost Amontillado colour with slight tones of unpolished brass, legs
Powerful saline flor, quite bitter with hints of dry scrub and a distinct oxidative note which merges with savoury hints of autolysis, and a slight nutty almost oily note to offer amazing complexity. Deep, full and evolved.
Intense, round, rich and complex starting with that oxidative note then clean and fine with the flor coming through along with the nutty oxidative note. There is a fascinating interplay between intensity and mellowness in this superb wine. It is not as racy as a more recently bottled wine but so many facets have harmonised with extra bottle age.
It was fantastic to taste this wine again with three years more bottle age. For its 4 ½ years of average solera age it is amazing. So many labels of Finos and Manzanillas, especially en rama bottlings, state that they should be consumed as soon as possible for maximum freshness, but this wine shows that they can and do improve, evolve, develop, even change in bottle. What is lost in freshness is gained in mellow complexity and richness, especially with en rama bottlings which have less taken out. After 56 months in bottle this wine which comes from La Guita has lost nothing and gained much, which demonstrates just how well Finos and Manzanillas can age in bottle – in proper conditions.
About £ 11.00 per half bottle from Drinkmonger Edinburgh

Manzanilla en Rama I Think 15%, Equipo Navazos, saca de Octubre 2014

Pale brassy gold with light legs.
Full and saline: beach, seaweed, very maritime with plenty of flor bitterness and amazing breadth. Super fresh yet serious with slight savoury autolytic notes, olive brine and a very slight hint of oxidation in the background. This could only be quality Manzanilla for its intense yeast and seaside character.
Delightfully tangy and quite intensely flavoured with terrific salinity, dry bitterness, hints of autolysis and that trace of oxidation making it very complex and yet full of life. This is a lovely wine – proper Manzanilla - bottled with minimum filtration so all its solera character is retained. It has a really long and intense flor powered finish which develops complexity even as it fades.
Aged about 4 ½ years in the La Guita solera and 8 months in bottle, this is from a lot of just over 5,000 half bottles, and is the current release. The wine is bottled from time to time, more on an ad hoc basis than as a regular bottling, but always either in spring or autumn when the flor is thickest. It is delicious now but would reward keeping.
About £ 11.00 per half bottle at Drinkmonger Edinburgh

Saturday 20 June 2015

PX VOS 15.5%, Bodegas Tradicion

Intense opaque browny black through deep walnut brown to yellow at the rim, long slow legs.
A strong savoury note leads into phenolic notes of burnt toffee, wood, coffee, then fruit: dried figs, dates, lots of pasas, and a hint of licorice. It smells old and concentrated with a hint of dankness, a classic PX nose.
Concentrated yet has a light feel with a wonderful pulpy texture. The phenolic notes and decent level of acidity make it seem less intensely sweet for a wine of over 400 grams per litre of sugars giving it a beautiful balance and fantastic silkiness. The massive depth of flavour just keeps on growing and then lingers and lingers. Wonderful.
This was bottle number 2,841 of 3,900 bottled by hand in 2014 with an average age of 22 years. No fining or filtration was carried out and the wine is wax sealed with a driven cork with a stopper cork provided for resealing. Interestingly, 15 kilos of grapes were needed to produce this one bottle!
About £60 retail. UK agents are McKinley Vintners

Friday 19 June 2015

19.6.15 Jerez Beach Cancelled

The Jerez council beach Project for the Parque González Hontoria has been abandoned. After the recent municipal elections the city has a new mayor, the socialist Mamen Sánchez, and she and her team have decided to scrap “Europe’s first urban beach”. Despite the project being a private enterprise which would cost the council nothing and create jobs, it was a contentious issue and the council has enough to do. So no chance of relaxing by a central poolside with a copita now!

The project as envisaged (foto:lavozdigital)

Bodegas: Bodegas Sainz de Baranda S.L.

This small firm was founded in Sanlúcar by Manuel Sainz de Baranda Mediavilla. He was a native of Torrelavega (Santander), and like many “montañeses” (people from the mountainous north), began with a grocery business before moving into the wine business in 1912.

He acquired vineyard in the pago Hornillo, just outside Sanlúcar, and a bodega at the Calle Bolsa, 169 which was a building previously used as a thread-spinning mill. This was always a small family business, an almacenista, and on the death of the founder it passed to his son, Manuel Sainz de Baranda Ibáñez. He in turn passed it on to his sons who made the firm a Sociedad Limitada (S.L.)

In the 1990s, with a change in the regulations, the firm was now able to market directly its own bottled brands: Manzanilla Pasada Tia Cari and Manzanillas Clareá and Paisana. They also produced Amontillado and Oloroso. The bodega latterly covered some 2,000 square metres, but downsizing meant much stock was sold leaving some 700 butts mainly of Manzanilla Pasada. Vineyard was sold as well leaving around 7 hectares.

Patio at the bodega (foto:Manuel D Montero/Cosas de Come)
The bodega is now in the hands of the Asociación de Amantes de la Manzanilla, a society dedicated to spread the word about the culture of Manzanilla, and is known as “la Bodeguita del Barrio”. There is plenty of space for tastings, dinners and all sorts of events in the fantastic surroundings of an old bodega still retaining its old equipment. The soleras are still run and Manzanilla Pasada, Amontillado and Oloroso are available here, all bottled by hand without filtration. The original bottling registrat-ion (RE) number is still in place.

The range of wines (foto:tubal.blogspot)

The wines are:
Amontillado en Rama, Oloroso en Rama and Manzanilla en rama, all bottled by hand.

Address: Calle Bolsa, 169, 11540 Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Website: www.msbr1946.wix.com  E-mail: amantesdelamanzanilla@gmail.com  also on Facebook

Thursday 18 June 2015

18.6.15 Ruiz Mateos Jailed; Harley Heaven; Jerez, Culrura y Vino; Ruta Website; La Goya Cocktails

José María Ruis Mateos, founder of Rumasa and Nueva Rumasa has been jailed by surprise in Madrid for defrauding Hacienda (the Spanish Inland Revenue). It was felt that because of his age (84) and physical and mental condition he was no longer able to serve the 3 year sentence, but he was submitted to tests and deemed capable. Sending someone to jail at this advanced age is extremely unusual, and his daughter Patricia had to rush to the jail with his armoury of medications.

This weekend sees the arrival of some 10,000 Harley Davidsons in the Marco de Jerez for the annual rally of worldwide Harley clubs. The event coincides with the Carrera de las Leyendas (Race of the legends) at the Jerez circuit. Trouble is not expected, but the main problem is where so many people are going to sleep.

Typical Harley rider (foto:lavozdigital)
The Consejo Regulador is tonight hosting the presentation of the book “Jerez, Cultura y Vino” published by Peripecias Libros which consists of the collected talks given by various experts on Sherry and its culture in celebration of Jerez Ciudad del Vino 2014. Subjects cover wine, architecture, history, poetry, art, archaeology and more.

Tomorrow there will be a presentation at the Consejo Regulador of the new Ruta del Vino y Brandy de Jerez website and promotional video developed as part of the “Vivejerez” project financed by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. www.rutadeljerezybrandy.es is now live and offers visitors the chance to organise their tours and create made-to-measure tours as well as book them.

Delgado Zuleta has celebrated the V Manzanilla La Goya Cocktail Competition at the Hotel and catering school of Sanlúcar. 27 current and past students competed and the winners will be presented with their prizes at the bodega on Monday. The winning cocktail was:
Cocktail Al-Andalus by Nazaret Marín Gómez

3cl La Goya, 4cl banana liqueur, 2cl mandarin liqueur, 4cl alcohol free passion fruit liqueur and 1.5cl lemon juice

Wednesday 17 June 2015

An Interview with Antonio Flores

From an interview with P Heredia in La Voz Digital Cádiz

The chief oenologist at González Byass, responsible for the firm’s top quality wines which have recently scooped many awards, was born in the bodega, his father being production director there. He is well travelled, having conducted tastings all over the world.

González Byass wines have triumphed in the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge, two prestigious British competitions. What was the key?
Maintaining our style of winemaking and ageing. Also bringing back some styles of wine which have been virtually forgotten like the Finos Palma, which represent the best of biological ageing and selection in the bodega.

How should one drink the Amontillado Cuatro Palmas, a Tio Pepe aged to an amazing 48 years, and winner of an International Trophy?
It should be drunk slowly, with enough time to be able to appreciate all it offers: subtlety, power, structure. It is a Tio Pepe with nearly half a century of ageing, the authentic perfume of Jerez, a “vino de pañuelo” (a “handkerchief” wine = so aromatic it can be used as perfume).

How do you make a champion wine?
Right from its birth, one chooses the best soil, selects the best juice, gives it careful treatment and ages it in the best butts and helps it along the way so that it expresses itself at its best.

How is the brand “Sherry” at the moment?
There is hope, Sherry is in fashion and is beginning to regain its place among the world’s fine wines with the help of gastronomy and younger drinkers.

Can the wine sector empower the economic recuperation of the area?
It can, and it should. Sherry has historically represented a fundamental pillar of its economy, not just in the three Sherry towns of Jerez, Sanlúcar and El Puerto de Santa María, but for the whole Bay of Cádiz area.

Antonio at work (foto:lavozdigital)

It is said that Sherry is the drink of more mature people. How can we get younger people to appreciate it?
We need to let them see that Sherry is part of their culture, that it is the best and most noble fermented drink in the world, and that it offers pleasure and health.

For someone inexpert in these wines, what do they need to know?
You should approach Sherry without fear, you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy it.  Knowledge will be acquired little by little when the wine is enjoyed in company.

Is Sherry well promoted at home and throughout the world? Is it more highly regarded abroad?
I believe that neither the bodegas collectively nor the Consejo Regulador are skimping on promotion. It is a slow process with long term results. We have come through a long crisis where resources have been scarce. Nobody can read the future but we are moving forward little by little knowing we should be proud to be able to enjoy a unique wine at an unbeatable price.

As the oenologist and master blender at González Byass, what is your favourite Sherry?
Amontillado Viña AB, a wine in between two types of crianza: biological and oxidative, a seductive wine of real character which leaves nobody indifferent.

What is the next challenge for González Byass?
González Byass Family of Wine as its name indicates is formed of bodegas all over the viticultural map of Spain. Our objective is to be represented in the most important areas. Beyond that, we are always aiming for quality, innovation and sustainability, but we never forget that Sherry is at the very heart of our Family of Wine.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Misterio del Palo Cortado in Edinburgh

Just a reminder that the Edinburgh Film Festival will be showing the Misterio del Palo Cortado on Tuesday 23rd June at the Odeon 2, Lothian Road at 18.00. Tickets are a very modest £10.00 considering that the president of the Consejo Regulador, Beltran Domecq will lead a tasting of Palos Cortados after the screening, accompanied by Iberico pork tapas from Goya 23, Edinburgh's best Spanish delicatessen. For tickets go to www.edfilmfest.org.uk

Palo Cortado (foto:losgenerosos2014.blogspot)
Sr. Domecq is also very kindly hosting a Sherry tasting at Drinkmonger, 11 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh on Wednesday 24th at 19.30. Space is limited, so please contact the shop as soon as possible: 0131 229 2205 or bruntsfield@drinkmonger.com

These are two events which are not to be missed for any self respecting #Sherry Lover!

16.6.15 60 Years of Pioneering Research at González Byass

In 1955 Mauricio González Gordon Díez founded CIDIMA, a pioneering centre for quality, research, development, innovation and the environment, with a mission to improve winemaking and the development of new products at González Byass. It was the first such centre in a private company in Spain.

Over its 60 year trajectory the centre has made important advances, such as being the first to use chill filtration to avoid tartrate crystals in wine exported to cooler climes. In 1969 CIDIMA pioneered the use of gas chromatography analysis, and in 1989 they managed to reduce the time chill filtration took from one week to one day. They were the first to invest in tangential filtration which is far more efficient than the traditional filter sheets.

With regard to product development. they developed Kosher Tio Pepe, the only Kosher Sherry available to the Jewish community, the ultra-premium brandy Lepanto Aurum aged over 30 years in ancient butts, a Tintilla de Rota from the firm’s Finca Moncloa, Gin Mom aromatised with red fruits, and Nomad Outland Whisky, a fine Scotch blend further aged in PX butts in Jerez.

José Alberto Casa and Luís Trillo at work (?!) at CIDIMA
CIDIMA has also developed studies in collaboration with academic institutions like the University of Cádiz and the CSIC. Jointly this has produced important research in development and innovation in vinification processes like fermentation, ageing, filtration, identification of substances and stabilisation of wines and brandies.

It all started on 23rd March 1955 as the firm’s Centro de Investigación Enológica (CIE) run by Justo Francisco Casa Lucás and by 1983 it was an essential part of the firm and was renamed Centro de Investigación, Desarrollo y Calidad (CIDeC). Under the direction of Enrique García Maíquez the team was developed along with material resources and research progressed. From 1990-92 the centre was run by Jesús Arnedo Rodriguez.

In 2003, under the direction of José Alberto Casas, it became CIDIMA, continuing the usual research and paying special attention to the conservation of bottled Finos and the ageing of Olorosos. They also looked into the ageing of brandy in butts and distillation. For all this work, González Byass were awarded the Martínez Moreno Research Prize in 2007, a prize normally awarded to academic institutions and rarely to private companies.

There are 11 people in the CIDIMA team and they play a leading role in the firm’s 5+5 Cuidando el Planeta sustainability policy (see bedega website). They are also at the forefront of the prevention of contamination and the conservation of the environment for which they hold the ISO 14001 certificate and constantly monitor the bodega’s carbon footprint.

Monday 15 June 2015

15.6.15 Decanter World Wine Awards 2015

15,929 wines from all over the world were tasted by 240 of the world’s best palates including 85 Masters of Wine (MW) and 23 Master Sommeliers. Spain fared very well, with Sarah Jane Evans MW saying “Spain is the most exciting thing happening in European wine right now”. Couldn't agree more! The results for Sherry are as follows:

International Trophy
Cuatro Palmas, González Byass
Taste the Difference 12 yo PX, Williams & Humbert (for Sainsburys)

Regional Trophy
PX Triana VORS, Hidalgo La Gitana

Fino Una Palma, González Byass
Palo Cortado Wellington VORS, Hidalgo La Gitana
Manzanilla Pastrana, Hidalgo La Gitana
Oloroso VORS, Lustau
Amontillado VORS, Lustau
Palo Cortado VORS, Lustau
Signature Oloroso, Lustau (for Morrisons)
Palo Cortado Capuchino VORS, Osborne
Dos Cortados VOS, Williams & Humbert

East India Solera, Lustau
Amontillado Botaina, Lustau
Palo Cortado 1/5, Cayetano del Pino
Palo Cortado Solera, Cayetano del Pino
Palo Cortado Antique, Fernando de Castilla
Amontillado del Duque VORS, González Byass
Oloroso Matúsalem VORS, González Byass
Fino Tres Palmas, González Byass
Fino Dos Palmas, González Byass
Amontillado VORS, Harveys
Oloroso VORS, Harveys
Palo Cortado VORS, Harveys
PX VORS, Harveys
Fino Extra Dry, Harveys
Signature 12yo Cream, Harveys
Manzanilla En Rama La Gitana, Hidalgo La Gitana
Manzanilla La Gitana, Hidalgo La Gitana
Oloroso Faraón VORS, Hidalgo La Gitana
Fino La Ina, Lustau
Very Rare Oloroso, Lustau (for Marks &Spencer)
Oloroso Rio Viejo, Lustau
Amontillado Solera Jerezana, Lustau (for Waitrose)
Palo Cortado Solera Jerezana, Lustau (for Waitrose)
Fino del Puerto Almacenista, Lustau
Amontillado Almacenista Cuevas, Lustau
Oloroso Pata de Gallina Almacenista, Lustau
Moscatel Emilín, Lustau
Oloroso Emperatriz Eugenia, Lustau
Amontillado Los Arcos, Lustau
Fino, Lustau (for Morrisons)
Palo Cortado Península, Lustau
Puerto Fino, Lustau
PX San Emilio, Lustau
Cream Solera Superior, Lustau
Oloroso Sibarita VORS, Osborne
PX Venerable VORS, Osborne
Palo Cortado Pedro’s Almacenista Selection (Viniberia for Majestic)
Manzanilla Extra Dry Light, Williams & Humbert (for Marks & Spencer)

I have excluded Bronze medals and Commendations for brevity. As usual it is interesting to see what won what. I was surprised, forjust one example, that a supermarket Fino won the same silver medal as an Almacenista Oloroso and various VORS wines. But hey, that's wine competitions for you!

Friday 12 June 2015

12.6.15 "Goyatherapy"; Prize for Tradición; Barbadillo Label Exhibition

The renowned bodega Delgado Zuleta in Sanlúcar has launched "Goyaterapia", a dermo-cosmetic treatment which, among other virtues, helps delay ageing of the skin thanks to the use of vine stem cells. Named after the firm’s most famous Manzanilla, La Goya, the treatment is produced in collaboration with Sanlúcar Fish Spa and the cosmetic centre Biotecnología Perlage.

This is the second such treatment to appear in the Sherry zone after the pioneering initiative by Skinwine which exploited the beneficial properties for the skin offered by the Palomino grape. The new treatment consists of mixing Manzanilla La Goya with essential oils from the grape, vine stem cells and an emulsion made from dehydrated grape pips, resulting in a massage cream which directly penetrates the skin via the lipid canal. The contribution of the wine is important as it contains resveratrol, flavonoids and anthocyanins as well as natural antioxidants which block the formation of potentially poisonous substances.

The Ministry for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Magrama) has awarded the Alimentos de España Mejor Vino prize to the Pedro Ximénez VOS by Bodegas Tradición. The judges, people of recognised prestige in the wine sector, were unanimous.

The Museo de la Manzanilla at Bodegas Barbadillo is hosting an exhibition of wine labels from the collection of Francisco Odero Álvarez. It runs till the end of July, and consists of XIX and XX century labels from round the world showing history and iconography as well as how wines were advertised, reflecting on the social, economic and cultural state of the times.

The exhibition will be opened tonight followed by a conference on the subject by Rafael Montaño García, an important researcher and collector. Francisco Odero has exhibited his collection at various prestigious shows including IFEMA, FENAVIN and Vinoble and collaborated with El Misterio del Palo Cortado. He has also worked with bottle design books and heraldic devices. Entrance is free.

Thursday 11 June 2015

11.6.15 American Professor in Jerez

Karl Trybus, a historian and teacher from Limestone College in South Carolina is visiting Jerez as part of his research into the cultural history of Spanish wines since 1870. He will be ably assisted by local historian and academic José Luís Jiménez, who will organise visits to the archives of local institutions and bodegas, such as the municipal archive, the Fundación González Byass, Bodegas Maestro Sierra and the Consejo Regulador among others. Once finished in Jerez he will move on to the Rioja, Penedés and other wine production zones.


Wednesday 10 June 2015

10.6.15 American Restaurant Wins VI Copa Jerez

15 Romolo of the Basque Hotel, North Beach, San Francisco convinced the judges in Jerez yesterday with three assured and sophisticated dishes perfectly matched with Sherry. Chef Michelle Matthews and sommelier Ian J Adams served a starter of langoustines lightly poached in marinade with shavings of mojama (salt-cured tuna) infused with a consommé of tomato with saffron dressed with oil and chives accompanied by Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana by Hidalgo La Gitana.

For the main course they served fresh pasta stuffed with grilled sweetbreads, roast porcini and demisec of beef infused with licorice with a creamy purée of Jerusalem artichoke and shavings of black truffle accompanied by Amontillado Gutiérrez Colosía. Their dessert was a semifreddo of toasted orange and Marcona almonds with chocolate cream infused with Amontillado dressed with flakes of sea salt accompanied by Palo Cortado VORS Apóstoles by González Byass.

It all started yesterday at 10.00 and took seven hours for everyone to prepare their dishes and have them judged at the Atalaya catering school in Jerez, where in parallel with the Copa Jerez there was an International Salon of Gastronomy. Here leading Andalusian chefs showed the latest trends in food and there were wine and food matching workshops and Sherry tastings from some 20 bodegas.

Monday 8 June 2015

Oloroso Soluqua VORS 19.5%, Bodegas Baron

Deep amber with golden highlights, legs.
Light and fresh, with slight Sanlucar notes of seaside among the aromas of walnut in syrup, toast, and almonds. There are hints of oak too and the slightest savoury note, which lend weight to the wine's age, reserved at first, light and easy, but it grows more complex in the glass without losing freshness.
Full to intense, lots of walnuts, some wood, quite tangy and gently grippy, but with enough glycerol to balance, very refined and reasonably complex with hints of toasted nuts: almond and especially savoury walnut notes, traces of fig , damp barrels and a trace of raisin.
A very good wine with classic Sanlucar character. This top quality range from Baron includes a VORS PX, Manzanilla Pasada (12 years old), a Fino of 9-10 years, a VORS Amontillado, a VOS Medium, a VOS Cream and an 8 year old Moscatel.
Not available in the UK

Bodegas: Conde de Peraleja

This was an old XVIII ermita (hermitage) built by the Carthusian monks on land near the Guadalete river just south-east of Jerez, about a mile from their famous Cartuja. It was used by the monks for agriculture and animal rearing, especially the famous Cartujano horses, as well as a retreat for elderly monks. The name Salto al Cielo means “jump to heaven” as this was the place from which the old monks would depart on that journey. Their land was confiscated by the state in the 1830s and later sold to the López de Carrizosa family. While the old ermita is gone, there remain visible traces of its foundations.

Grupo Salto al Cielo is a farming and food group established by Luis López de Carrizosa Ybarra on the same land in 1967 and which is divided into four fincas. The huge estate grows avocados, oranges, carob, potatoes, carrots and cotton among many other things. Then there are Limousin cattle, holiday accommodation for “agro-tourism” and a further 2,600 hectares of land for hunting. Full facilities are available for riding and classes are given in show-jumping and dressage. There is even a XIX century chapel in the finca.

While mainly concerned with all the above, the estate has a small bodega called Conde de Peraleja, an inherited family title bestowed on a previous López de Carrizosa by Alfonso XIII in 1905 (the family has been in the area for over 800 years and helped defend Jerez against the Moors). Here Amontillado, Oloroso, PX and Cream are produced under the brand name Salto al Cielo (once a brand name of the now lost bodegas Barón de Algar which was owned by the family - see separate post). As there are no vineyards, the musts are bought in to feed the soleras. The Oloroso comes from a tiny solera of 5 butts with an average age of 50 years and is selected by Beltran Domecq. Perhaps some of the old wine came from the Baron de Algar bodega founded in 1830 by Francisco Javier López de Carrizosa y Pavón which closed in the early 1980s.

£25 per half bottle UK agents Ehrmanns, but not yet available

Sunday 7 June 2015

7.6.15 New Campaign Against Bag-in-Box

After various meetings with the Ministries of Consumption and Agriculture the Consejo Regulador has launched a joint informative campaign to persuade the pouring trade and consumers against the use of Bag-in-Box (BIB). They hope to achieve this by persuasion rather than risk confrontation.

The Reglamento (rules of Sherry production) states that only glass bottles can be used for Sherry with the Denominación de Origen (DO), so BIB is therefore illegal. Many producers have got round this by selling wine in this format by de-classifying it from the DO, and many bars and restaurants use it for price and convenience reasons.

BIB from the Cooperative at Sanlucar
Not everyone agrees with the Consejo’s and particularly Fedejerez’ stance which has steadfastly refused to consider any container other than glass. After all wines such as Montilla-Moriles and many others are commonly and legally sold in this format. At the last plenary meeting in May, the Consejo noted that there had been a rise in the fraudulent use of BIB, above all in Sanlúcar where there have been instances of BIBs used to refill screen printed bottles given to restaurants and bars by bodegas.

It is worth remembering that BIB is not a legal container and so will most likely contain wine which is not DO, and any Sherry-related terminology on the label is not legal either thus misleading. Nonetheless, BIBs are good sellers; the Consejo estimates that a million litres were declassified for sale in BIB last year, but they can only estimate, as this format also makes nonsense of official figures.

Saturday 6 June 2015

Amontillado 19% Pedro's Almacenista Selection

Pale golden amber with golden glints, legs.
Light and fairly young, not particularly forthcoming, with a hint of sweetness yet a trace of background flor bitterness, almond essence, Madeira cake, slight notes of raisin and wood, fresh, balanced and quite attractive.
Still quite glyceric but balanced out by a certain tang, a hint of bitterness from the flor still remains, but very much an Amontillado. Light but has good presence and length with a trace of wood tannin. A very good wine for everyday drinking.
This is a special bottling for retailer Majestic who had the great idea of commissioning Peter (Pedro) Dauthieu of Viniberia to source them a range of quality Sherry. The Amontillado is made by Garcia Jarana, a small Almacenista in Jerez (who also supplies Lustau with Almacenista wine). The wine has a youthful complexity and I imagine it might come from a criadera at maybe 8-10 years old. It was bottled by Sanchez Romate at the end of 2013. The labels on this range are taken from old Fiesta de la Vendimia posters, this one being from 1955.
£ 10,99 only available from Majestic

6.6.15 Record Medal Haul for Dos Cortados

Williams & Humbert's Dos Cortados VOS has won Gold at the International Wine and Spirit Competition, Gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards, Gold at the International Wine Challenge, and on top of that the IWC Sherry Trophy. This superb wine has won many awards already, but never so many at once.