Amontillado Gran Barquero


Heading to a tasting of Perez Barquero wines at Reserva y Cata in a few minutes and am getting the juices flowing by writing up my note of this from yesterday’s lunch at Territorio Era. (In fact the original plan was just to repost but to my disbelief I discovered just now that I had no post on the blog about it.)

Despite an average age of 25-30 years it has really nice flor effects to it – the nose has nice almonds and yeasty bread – which makes me think it spent a good number of the early years under flor. Then it has a fine, silky texture that you don’t necessarily expect from a pedro ximenez, lovely acidic and or saline bite and a nice elegant palate of roasted, dark roasted almost bitter almonds.

Really top class. Juices are now flowing and no mistake.


Manzanilla pasada Mar7

One of the things I love about Territorio Era is being surprised by wines I hadn’t come across elsewhere and here is another one. This is a manzanilla pasada by “Despacho de Vinos Mar 7” a project of a daughter of Pedro Romero, who has acquired wines from Delgado Zuleta for finishing in her own style (in what was the HQ of Pedro Romero).

The wines are fully en rama and unfiltered and this one is said to have had a total of around 8 years under flor.  As you can see the colour is relatively dark, a deep, rich yellow gold with maybe just the tiniest suggestion of green at the edges. While that might suggest age the nose suggested youth – a lot of green apple freshness and sweeter herbal tea to it, with just a hint or salty air in the background. On the palate too it seems to be at the lighter, fresher, green apple end of the scale, although nice and fine and with a nice salinity to keep it vertical.

Very nice, not over done, and very very easy to drink.



Fino el Pato Especial

One for fans of Montilla Moriles here: the “Special Duck” from Bodegas Luque. As the label says, it is a fino en rama without clarification or filtration. (Since the explanation is redundant I assume they must be trying to make a point.)

The wine certainly comes across as rough and ready – incredibly pungent and meaty, with a big heavy texture and flavours like chewing a ham bone and a stick of bitter liquorice. There is salinity too but not a lot of zing or definition. To be honest not really my cup of tea but you can’t deny it has character.

La Malaje

I finally made it la Malaje today for lunch and you have to wonder why it took me so long – absolutely top class. It is in a really nice spot at the bottom of Calle Relatores and has a nice airy feel to it, with a little Andalucian patio included (was a good day for it today, October notwithstanding).

These dudes are from the other place, Montilla Moriles, and so it was a good opportunity to try a few of the other kind of finos from a longish list by the glass. Also, there were no fewer than three Andalucian red wines, two varieties of bread, and two different salts (but just one superb olive oil).

More importantly, the food was cracking – navajas en escabeche, a herring and orange salad (no photo taken) that was brilliantly light and fresh, a really light, juicy tortilla, brilliant garbanzos, again with fish and a touch of citrus, and a cracking cheesecake (these are the names I have imaginatively given the dishes – you would be advised to consult the menu to see what they really are). To be honest I didn’t expect any less since the man in charge is Manu Urbano, formerly of Sacha, and the food here was definitely on that kind of level.

So no excuses from me for not making it before – just regrets, and a determination to be back again soon (for Sherry Week).

100 up

The sun never sets on the undertheflor empire, and today the good folk of Malawi joined the party, becoming the 100th member of the United Nations to do so. Moni and zikomo Malawi! 

Fino La Barajuela 2013 again

Have been writing a piece on what to look for on a sherry label, which is just another way of saying what to look for in a sherry bottle and apart from working up a thirst it dawned on me that what I am looking for is this. A vintage, terroir specific fino built to express both dimensions, and more importantly, a cracking wine.

I have written about it several times already – the first time I really tried it in June it was superb, so much so that I felt the need to taste it against a Chassagne Montrachet, and then in August I was lucky enough to take part in a fantastic tasting with the maker himself.

This time what strikes me is the potency of the fruit – a kind of super intense melon flavour, and how it complements the zingy salinity and crisp minerals to make a potent wine that is piercing, sleek and elegant at the same time.

Really top class.