Palo Cortado Reliquia 

How does one write a tasting note about a wine like this? It is a massively old Palo Cortado by Barbadillo that after a 100 years or so of quiet excellence (the ficha has a nice potted history) was launched to superstardom (and correspondingly astronomic prices) by being awarded 100 points by the Wine Advocate. This one was purchased as a team effort and consumed during a cracking dinner last night.

The colour is paler than I expected – a honey gold as you can see – and it had a lot of sediment. The nose was terrific – a little bit of furniture polish then citric sweetness, toasted nuts, fresh sawdust and chamomile, some salty sea air.

Most importantly, for such an old, concentrated wine it was beautifully elegant and integrated and as a result highly drinkable. Very dry but not at all astringent, with salinity and acidity that warm the tongue without being harsh, and big umami flavours of nuts, toasted nuts and a trace of orange zest bitterness. No edges to it, very silky on the palate and an immensely long, mouth watering finish. 

A beautiful highly drinkable old wine.


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