Madrid is fortunate indeed to have a place like Taberna Palo Cortado, which has a fantastic list of wines by the glass that includes (apart from the reds, whites, champagnes, Tokay, Jura, etc. that are not within my jurisdiction):
- 19 finos
- 17 manzanillas
- 22 amontillados
- 13 oloroso
- 15 palo cortados
- 2 cream
- 6 pedro ximenez (not counting the finos, amontillados, etc) and
- 2 moscatels
Not just any wines, either: you can come here and have a glass (or two) of truly special wines like this Fino Imperial, a 30+ year old VORS amontillado fino from Diez Merito.
It has a pretty complete ficha: fruit from pagos that are classified as Jerez Superior (the precise pago is not identified, however), five years under flor then 25 years of oxidative ageing in a solera with five criaderas.
It is a really beautiful colour – slightly reddish amber and seems to glow – beautiful the way the sunshine emanates from it. On the nose there is a touch of volatile (which I love in moderation) then caramel and hazelnut, and even vanilla, with maybe just a bit of residual hay bales at the end from those five years.
Despite the volatile on the nose it doesn’t seem acidic on the palate: tingly more than zingy. A silky texture, in fact, pleasant caramel, hazelnut flavours first up then under cover of that silky caramel “old wine” notes of tobacco, wood and bitter walnut skin – all nicely balanced and a long slightly peppery finish.
Smooth, elegant, tasty and spicey at the end. Really good.