Fino Dos Palmas, 2016

Had this during a recent visit to Zaragoza’s sherry temple, Absinthium, and must say it was the perfect aperitif.

A lovely rich gold colour – as you can see it was maybe just a little chilly. Appetising nose with fresh, piercing, salinity and beach grass and almonds in the back ground. Then on the palate it is fatty/creamy in texture, has a nice edge of salinity and again a pleasing, almond flavour to it. Not a very long finish but a fresh one.

Elegant, tasty, and fresh. Lovely stuff.

Fino que va para amontillado Criadera/A – 1/2017 

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I think we have now reached the limit in terms of length of wine name – this is getting to Riesling-like proportions. Was going to write this up as an amontillado fino but have gone with the manufacturer’s instructions.

It is the first saca of 2017 (or ever), one of the new releases by Alvear (you can try them all at Territorio Era), and as you can see is a pretty limited release – 1060 tiny bottles. 100% pedro ximenez with an age of around 10-12 years under flor and apparently from the criadera used to feed the solera of the amontillado VORS.

It has a bit more reddish brown than straw in colour and is pretty clear, if not quite cristaline. On the nose I find it much closer to an amontillado than a fino. I don’t get quite as much haybale biological action in the nose, just maybe a bit of sawdust whereas there is a piercing salty bitter almond aroma. On the palate too it wasn’t as fat or fatty as I expected. In fact I was surprised by just how dry and fine it is. An elegant palate, with a nice sharp acidity, a very piercing bitter almond flavour and a fresh, saline finish.

An elegant wine in a cheeky little bottle: get one if you can.

 

Solear en rama – Winter 2016


Although I fully understand the arguments in fabour of magnums, I also love these little bottles – just perfect for a pre prandial snifter. This one is full to the brim with delicious, characterful manzanilla and comes with a free gift – a tiny veil of flor (at least that’s what it looks like to this untutored eye. 


And just look at that photography too – through the neck of the bottle. Absolutely top drawer blogging tonight! 

Palo Cortado Privilegio 1860

I was given this yesterday at La Matilde blind (I did say that your man was a gent) and although I never expected quite this I knew where it came from immediately – if I had been given time I would have guessed it was El Tresillo 1874. (I really ought to have known, since I have had this not once but twice before (he said name showing off unobtrusively).)

As you can see a lot of solids in the glass but it was a beautiful wine in every other respect. The colour and sheen, the sweet spicey nose, and the perfect profile of smooth acid, full body and long finish without any jarring astringency. Such a lot of silk on the palate and tasty silk too – notes of ginger, chocolate and spices. The sort of wine that you can enjoy for a long time – it is eternal on the palate and just keeps unwinding flavours on you.

Real class and a privilege indeed.

La Matilde

Second stop in Zaragoza and another must for visiting wine lovers – La Matilde – a classic, old school restaurant where you can eat fantastically well just metres aboce one of the finest, busiest, fullest wine cellars I have seen anywhere and, if you are lucky, drink some absolutely unique wines. 

The sommelier is not only the absolute boss in wine terms but also a true gent. You can see one of the highlights above and I will get back to that when I can but there was also a cracking old Emilin moscatel served with a twist of orange and your man had plenty in reserve. 

Absinthium


Absinthium is an obligatory destination for any sherry lover – or wine lover for that matter – in Zaragoza, and was in fact my first stop on arrival.

Top class – a really big selection and some cracking, classic wines on the shelves and in the fridge and the sommelier, Jesus Solanas, really really knows his business. Not just sherry on offer – some really nice, elegant wines from around the world available by the glass, and as the name suggests it is also one of the few places you can enjoy absinthe – even out of the tap as per the old school. An absinthe seemed a bit strong as a pre prandial snifter so I stuck to the healing wine and it was terrific – right in its prime.