Very old, very famous Sanlucar amontillado with an average age of over 40 years from the bodega Rodriguez la Cave, a once Hispano Frances bodega now part of Delgado Zuleta, who claim to be the oldest in the business. I was surprised that I hadn’t written about this on the blog already, but on a recount the nights where this wine have been involved have not been conducive to note taking. Anyway, better late than never.
As you can see it is a beautiful, lively amber colour with a hint of yellow orange. On first opening it was a little closed up and unforthcoming, but after a week or so open (with the cork in) it seems a different proposition (it is also true that I may be in a better mood/frame of mind, who knows). Now on the nose it has some spirity fumes – closer to petrol than to brandy – then walnut skin, furniture polish, and cigar box wood.
On the palate it is very dry and very salty, sharp but full and refined. Zingy and acidic feel on the tongue and massive in salty seawater volume, and leaves a buzz rather than a sting. Flavours are woody, leathery, and tobacco, before a long long salty and savoury/bitter finish with the tongue still buzzing.
It is easy to see why this is for many the top of the pops in terms of Sanlucar amontillados – a salty beast.