Thought it would be interesting to pour sniff and sip side by side.
On the left, the Inocente, on the right, the Number 54. The number 54, with its dusky colour, stronger hay bale aroma and notes of oxidization looks and feels like an oldy and it is indeed 10 years old. The Inocente is paler, fresher and fruitier and is … 10 years old!
This is a real revelation for me – I knew about Inocente’s single vineyard palomino – from the classic pago macharnudo alto. I also had the idea that it was one of the great traditionally produced wines, but I must admit to surprise at the average age.
There is a clear difference in colour and in nose – but side by side it is clear there is no difference in intensity. The flor on the big oak barrels of the Inocente has clearly not eaten away as much fructose and has prevented the air getting to the wine – it gives a new meaning to the name in fact – but it has been doing its magic nonetheless.
The caramel sweetness and herby aromas and body of the 54 are attractive and probably make it slightly more of a wine than the inocente, but they are not the product of mere age – rather selection, oxidization and the almost en rama bottling.
In fact when you consider the price difference I feel like I have seriously under appreciated the Inocente. This must surely be one of the cheapest 10 year old classics you can buy.