Tag Archives: Lustau

The Sherry Revolution (Jerez, Spain – Day Two)

As I talked about in my previous post, most people think sweet when they think sherry, but there is far more to it. Different styles were developed over time, but essentially the principle of the fortification process was to allow the wines to age in an oxidative process whereby barrels were not completely filled and in the case of the dry styles a thin layer of yeast was allowed to form on the surface of the wine known as flor. With the sweeter and higher alcohol wines this flor does not exist and are thus more oxidative in nature, and often age for longer both in solera and bottle. After all, if the wine is already oxidised in the barrel it hardly matters if you drink it several months after opening the bottle. With the sherry rainbow of styles on offer, it actually means that sherry is a versatile and unique companion to food. Possibly one of the most famous food matches with manzanilla for example, is freshly grilled sardines which are very salty and pair perfectly with the fresh acids of the sherry. There is currently a sherry revolution as new generations are discovering this ancient wine style, most notably in London and New York. Several wine experts still maintain that sherry is woefully undervalued and I couldn’t agree more. It just takes a little while to understand the wine, and shake the image of it being for old fuddy-duddies.
Can you tell I’m missing home?

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Lustau – 3/07/2012

Manzanilla Papirusa
Very pale straw colour, purest palomino. Quite a light and fresh nose, very delicate salty characters, some fresh green fruit notes. Slightly viscous but very light and fresh, some good intensity. A little complexity and salty ham character.

Puerto Fino
More smoky toasty rancio elements, slightly gamey. Toastier more intense texture, but with some savoury creaminess. Still very fresh but a more masculine style of dry sherry.

La Ina Fino
Very intense aromatics, very flor oxidative, mineralic earthiness. Bolder and fuller on the palate, retaining freshness but much more heavy and complex in structure and flavours.

Almacenista Manuel Cuevas Jurado Manzanilla Amontillada
Very cheesy notes, different leesy elements above the salt characters. Very soft and subtle, creamy texture and viscosity, roasted vegetables, savoury baked cream, quite long and complex.

Los Arcos Dry Amontillado
Lovely toasted caramel toffee aromas, glazed cheeses. Creamy palate, lightly smoked wood, soft creamy texture, quite light and fresh, not a lot of character. Builds a little on the back of the palate.

Amontillado VORS (30 years)
Gorgeous colour, like rich toffee. Astonishingly aromatic but also quite subtle and complex, toffee and coconut, almost like a Bounty bar. Very fresh tight and focused on the palate, elevated on the palate, Commands your attention, very fresh and slightly salty savoury.

Almacenista “Vides” Palo Cortado de Jerez
Amazingly complex aromas, floral, maraschino cherries, almonds, hazelnut liqueur. Very soft smooth and complex on the palate, wonderful savoury nut characters, still some freshness making it good with food, but something subtle and savoury to pair with.

Emparatriz Eugenia Very Rare Oloroso
Quite delicate on the nose, almost too subtle. Pure freshness, very long, some fermentation characters. Very nice drinking, just a little empty and without character or definition.

Anada 1997 Vintage Sherry Rich Oloroso Abocado
Showing a little of the alcohol on the nose, very delicate small raisin aromas. Slightly rum sweet, very fresh raisiny characters, nice full flavour and character, good balance, hitting a nice spot between sweet and savoury. Wonderful character and unique style.

East India Solera
Smoky toasty molasses, a hint of raisin, but quite dark and savoury in character. Bold rolling flavours, constantly changing, very complex and long, some nut and umami characters. Some interesting fungal shitake truffle character.

Moscatel Emilin
Bright intense fruit sweet nose, quite raisiny. Deep soft and full, but wonderfully fresh and balanced, a great companion to dessert. Wonderful characters of dried moscatels and some delicate spice.

Pedro Ximinez San Emilio
Very grapey and thick on the nose, a very classic style of PX, very thick heavy, some nice chocolate character.

Pedro Ximenez VORS (30 years)
Smoky toasty woody ash aromas, very very toasty burnt coconut husk. Insanely reduced and thick, barely even liquid anymore. Insanely complex, tastes exactly like treacle, very smoky intense coconut, like a really rich dark dessert.

Javier Lustau Solera Gran Riserva Brandy
Quite a subtle nose, very complex and delicate, agree that it has more an Armagnac character. Very balanced and subtle, quite smooth and yet fresh. Well contained alcohol.

Graduation of aged pedro ximinez

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