Thursday, 23 August 2018

Fino en rama Peña del Águila Saca 2018 15%, Bodegas César Florido

Pale to mid brassy gold with golden highlights.
Full, forthcoming, almost pungent maritime aromas; ozone, beach and even a trace of iodine. Along with a briny, yeasty, bitter flor there are background herbal notes of scrub, esparto and a trace of camomile. It is as elegant as it is complex and harmonious, and speaks of its origin.
Full of flavour, subtle and beautifully balanced. There are hints of sourdough, crusty bread, oak, almond and olive brine as well as a yeasty character as much from the bottom of the wine with its hint of buttery autolysis as from the surface with its more bitter tang. This is delicious.
This is  excellent Fino, and it comes from the production zone, Chipiona to be exact, which is right on the Atlantic coast and is best known for Moscatel. César Florido, a family business, is the oldest bodega in the area, and by far the most interesting. Most are happy with basic wines and Moscatel, but  César has some very classy wines, and the two most oustanding (non Moscatel) are his rare Peña del Águila Fino and Palo Cortado, which are the equal of anything in Jerez. The Fino is made from grapes from the pago Miraflores and is aged through 5 criaderas and a solera, and in Chipiona the flor lasts all year round. When it is time to make the annual saca each spring, César tastes every butt in the solera which is located in the Cherra bodega, some 25 metres from the sea, before choosing just one for bottling, in this case butt no.1 which yielded 1,200 half bottles. This (annual) saca was bottled en rama in April 2018 and is somewhere between Fino and Manzanilla in style but as the bodega is outside the DO area, while it can be called Fino, it can't be called Sherry. It seems really unfair.
11 euros per half bottle, Licores Corredera

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