Yet another cracking project from Ramiro Ibañez (he of Encrucijado, the Manzanilla de Añada and other projects) and something I am really looking forward to getting to grips with.
Called “Pitijopos” it consists of a case of six examples of “mosto de pago”. Mosto is the name given to the unfortified palomino wines that are used to make sherry (confusingly, it is also a term given to unfermented grape juice elsewhere in Spain and the english word, “must”, clearly refers to a sort of intermediate stage). “Pago” on the other hand is a term given to specific vineyards/terroirs. Normally you would hear the term “vino de pago” as meaning single vineyard wine, or a wine might be called “Pago …”.
So here we have examples of mostos, from a single vintage, 2014, and a single grape, palomino, but from specific pagos from around the jerez region. Specifically, from six different locations ranging from Northwest to Southeast: Trebujena, Sanlúcar, Rota, Jerez (2) and Chiclana. Tasting them all together (which I intend to do as soon as I have a chance to really appreciate six bottles of white wine at once) is probably a unique opportunity to compare the differences in character that result from those differences in terroir.
Even if you can’t get six of them (I am told there were only around 100 cases of this available) I would recommend any sherry enthusiast to try mosto if you can. The very best tasting I ever experienced (at Emilio Hidalgo) started with tasting some mosto and then following it up through the chain as sobretabla, fino of different ages, amontillado, oloroso – it was frankly the most formative lesson of my brief education in these things, and the mosto was a key part. It has a very distinctive aroma, structure and flavour which is worth getting a handle on since it will really help you appreciate the same dimensions of the fruit in the fine wines that have been undertheflor (once you have smelt mosto you will recognize it in a lot of finos and manzanillas, in particular).
As always, these have been on the road and I need to give them time to settle in, but I will report back when they are ready.
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