Amontillado 2003, Williams Coleccion Añadas

I still haven’t managed to find a moment to open the whole box together but continue to pick off lone bottles of these añadas one by one: so far I have tried the 2009s and now this one (if we are not counting the 2006). Of course they are all similar wines – from the same pagos, made by the same maker in the same bodega – but it is still really remarkable how clear their shared signature is – and indeed I recently had a chance to try the “historic vintage” oloroso and that too was clearly a slightly older brother to these.

And, like those other wines, this is an absolute belter. A beautiful old gold colour (just look at that camerawork), it has a lovely refined nose with hazelnuts baked in granary bread and just a bit of that sweetness in the background. Then on the palate it is wonderfully smooth and elegant, with very refined flavours – nuts, yeast, and minerals. Not all that concentrated but full and seamless – like an opera singer with no vibrato. On the ficha that Williams & Humbert were kind enough to send me they say “rounded” and it certainly has no hard edges.

That tasting note is in fact rather confusing – I had assumed that this was an amontillado on the basis that the flor had given up the ghost in the cask, but according to the ficha it was at some point fortified to 18º (and presumably some time ago, because it finishes up at a hefty 20.5º – which by the way you would never guess in a million years), before being classified as an amontillado in 2016.

However it was made, it is brilliant, and it is absolutely shocking how little of this is available. I am not going to say where I got it just in case I can still get some more.

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