Sunday, 30 June 2019
Fairly deep amber to chestnut with coppery bronze highlights.
Forthright and quite full, a mix of light spirit notes and those of a full Oloroso along with hints of old oak. There are also hints of vanilla and caramel and traces of old English marmalade. There is reasonable complexity and quality for a basic solera brandy.
Full and quite rich and hearty with a fair intensity of flavour including caramel, garrapiñadas, walnut and a very faint trace of anise along with the almost inevitable oak and Sherry notes. It has a fair bit of character for what it is and is not excessively sweetened or tannic and has good length.
This brandy was originally produced by the fine old firm of José de Soto, famous for its Ponche, but in 1989 it was bought out by Nueva Rumasa and gradually merged with Garvey and Zoilo Ruiz Mateos at the purpose-built the Complejo Bodeguero Bellavista. Towards the end of 2016 the remains of the group (100,000 butts had been reduced to 10,000) was bought from the receivers by Asian Alcohol Corporation who seem to be doing very little with it, and have paid off most of the staff. The Complejo Bodeguero Bellavista, would seem to have even less stock these days.
Price20 euros per litre, Licores Corredera
Saturday, 29 June 2019
Bright lemony mid gold with golden highlights.
Super fresh with all the classic hallmarks of Palomino with its characteristic apple aromas, both fresh and stewed along with a faint hint of glacé lemon and a gentle mineral note. There is a little more weight here than in the Callejuela and Añina, as might be expected, and some texture as well, mot to mention some real charm.
With lots of apples, good and ripe, and hints of quince and apricot it is a generous wine, quite full, sophisticated and beautifully rounded, almost soft. You hardly notice the gentle minerality that runs through it, but it is there, as is the dry chalky texture from the albariza adding complexity. This delightful wine proves that Palomino is by no means as simple as some seem to think.
Viña Callejuela own three vineyards in the classic pagos of Callejuela, Añina and Macharnudo, all at good altitudes for the best albariza. Here - apart from their various standard Manzanillas - they produce three single vineyard table wines: Hacienda de Doña Francisca (Callejuela), Las Mercedes (Añina) and this one. They also use the same mostos to make three single vineyard single vintage Manzanillas in the Soleras de Almacenista range. Being from the Macharnudo, which is the farthest inland and thus warmest of their vineyards, this excellent wine is fuller and a shade stronger than the other two. The grapes for the table wines are picked a little later. It was fermented and aged in old well-seasoned Manzanilla butts without flor and bottled in April 2019.
13.50 euros, De Albariza
Friday, 28 June 2019
Bright, yellowy old gold with golden highlights.
Full with fairly intense notes of bitter yeasty almondy flor balancing with slightly buttery oily olive brine notes from the autolysed yeast in the cabezuela and just a trace of toasted nuts creeping in, yet very fresh too. This is a well aged Fino, at least twice the age of the average one, and with real class showing a lovely degree of concentration, yet still very much Fino.
There is just so much flavour here, it is full bodied Macharnudo wine, clean and very complex, with loads of bitter aldehydic strawy savoury saline notes which easily compensate for a fairly low - but quite sufficient - acidity, all of which is perfectly augmented by the rich buttery character and backed up with a dry chalky texture. And it has terrific length.
Released in February 2019, this superb wine is made from grapes grown in the Macharnudo Alto vineyards owned by Grupo Estévez, and it was fermented in butts, and is thus effectively Valdespino. It comes from the same group of butts as many previous releases of La Bota de Fino, but on this occasion the blend was selected from the solera and the first and second criaderas in order to give it freshness and elegance bearing in mind that the wine has an approximate average age of ten years, considerably more than usual for a Fino. There were 5,000 bottles in this saca. There are plenty of Manzanillas Pasadas, but so few Finos in this mature complex style which was once abundant...why?
Price20 euros, Er Guerrita
Thursday, 27 June 2019
Light to mid strawy brassy gold with golden highlights.
Forthcoming, interesting and attractive with traces of apricot, quince jelly and plenty of over ripe apple notes from the carefully controlled oxidation. The aroma has something of autumn in it, of over-ripeness, without sweetness, and inevitably a slight strawy waxy Sherry note. Most winemakers avoid oxidation like the plague but in Spain they have mastered it and made a virtue of it, as beautifully demonstrated here.
PalateFresh, clean and fruity, though the fruit is more mature. It still tastes like the usual Socaire but further developed and complex, slightly resembling a Fino with bottle age only lighter and fruitier. Acidity and length are perfect and there is a dry texture and faint minerality from the albariza. It is an unusual and intriguing wine, but one which will captivate you in no time at all.
This is a new version of the excellent 100% Palomino Socaire; basically exactly the same wine, but with extended ageing and thus older and showing a little oxidation, hence the name. In fact it is aged for a total of 5 years (three more than the standard wine) in an ex Fino butt which gives it greater depth and complexity, but only 600 bottles were produced. It comes from the albariza of the firm´s Matalian vineyard and was fermented in butt, and the ageing took place in the absence of flor.
Price25 euros, Licores Corredera
Wednesday, 26 June 2019
The world´s biggest celebration of Sherry - and possibly of any wine - is now ready to register events for the 2019 edition which takes place 4-10 November. Registration is free as are many helpful posters, tasting mats, pairing guides etc. as well as many event suggestions which can be downloaded from the website: https://www.sherry.wine/es/sherryweek
Sherry Week is growing all the time, and last year the figures were impressive with over 10,000 events in 30 countries and huge digital media traffic. The event has only one rule: the wines must be Sherry, but that is no problem as there are so many kinds of Sherry. Anything goes, be it cocktails, food pairing or tastings, even online tastings, and once events are registered, you can see what is happening in your area. The most innovative event will win 1,000 euros´worth of Sherry, so it is time to start thinking!
Tuesday, 25 June 2019
Bright gold with lemony gold reflections.
Full, clean, fresh and attractively aromatic with notes of apple naturally, both fresh and stewed, but also pear, paraguayo peach, mandarine peel and traces of white flowers and honeysuckle. There is also a trace of salinity which adds a nice savoury touch.
Slightly fuller than expected and beautifully rounded even though there is a beautifully balanced acidity. There is a delightfully seductive summery fruit and flower character yet underneath there is a dry chalky albariza texture and a faint salinity, and the balance between all that is perfect. A serious wine with lots of charm.
Socaire is becoming one of the classic table wines of the region. It comes from 100% Palomino grapes grown in the firm´s Matalian vineyard near Chiclana and fairly close to the Atlantic. The soil is the lentejuelas type of albariza. After selection the grapes are pressed and the juice is fermented in butts previously seasoned with Fino where it ages for up to 2 years´depending on the characteristics of the vintage. The vessels are kept full to avoid the appearance of flor and highlight the character of the vineyard. The back label states that the wine was aged for 24 months but this can´t be right as it would still be ageing. It should be more like 19-20 months. Maybe they forgot to change the label. Anyway, it is an excellent wine, and the 2015 vintage scored 91 Parker points.
Price12.95 euros, Licores Corredera
Monday, 24 June 2019
There is no rain, and none is forecast for the rest of this hydrological year which ends in September. The situation in the province has become alarming with three of the five districts already in severe drought. There was virtually no rainfall in May, which was the driest on record. Accumulated rainfall so far this year in the area stands at approximately 500 litres/m2, way below last year and the 731.7 litre average for 1971-2000. Reservoirs contain 15% less water than a year ago, and they were only at 60% of capacity then. Vineyard irrigation is not permitted.
|One of the reservoirs|
The Jerez area grows many other crops other than grapes, including sunflowers, cotton, beetroot and cereals, all of which have seen worrying drops in yield – cereals for example are down 35%, and there is barely enough water or pasture for livestock. Once drought is officially declared various forms of aid can be claimed from the EU or from agricultural insurance but their terms are tough. Naturally the vineyards will be affected too, but as vines have much deeper roots and grow on albariza which absorbs huge amounts of water, the effects will be less severe, and while yields will certainly be down, especially with a hot summer predicted, there will be a reduced risk of cryptogamic problems like mildew.
Saturday, 22 June 2019
Mid strawy gold with golden highlights.
Fairly light at first but it soon comes out. Fresh sea air and olive brine salinity with a little bitterness from the flor, traces of straw, herbs and some minerality from the albariza. It is a serious wine with the faintest oxidative and cabezuela notes adding a lightly buttery complexity. Vet attractive.
Quite full, with considerable depth and perfect balance of mineral, acetaldehyde and acidity with the more buttery autolytic character of the cabezuela. The flavour is quite intense with a lovely bitter edge and the usual dry chalky texture and long clean tasty finish.
Jaime Carlos de Carvajal Castrillón, who spent many years working for González Byass in the province of Cádiz, set up Carvajal Wines back in 2014, and now sells a range of wines which he selects from bodegas in the Marco de Jerez for his own label. He started by making a selection of red wines produced by Barbadillo under a 5 year contract resulting in his excellent Cobijado and is now selling Palo Cortado from Cayetano del Pino and selecting a range of wines from Delgado Zuleta in Sanlúcar which they bottle for him en rama. While the own label Sherries all have circus-related imagery on the labels they are wines of serious quality.
Price15.65, Licores Corredera