Fino Carta Blanca (de los 90)

Now this is one of those old sherries that have acquired a kind of legendary status (the Spanish prefer the term “mythical” but I can assure you it is real). Agustin Blázquez was one of the many bodegas acquired in the second half of the 20th Century by Domecq and I believe the brand disappeared in the 1990s (when the winemaker in charge was Jose Maria Quiros, now of Tradición). This bottle is from that late era so is around 20ish years old or maybe a bit more, and it was very generously brought along to lunch at Territorio Era by Juancho Asenjo.

And the wine deserves to be legendary: it was absolutely fantastic. Beautifully clear and only a half shade darker than your standard fino, it had maintained its clarity in aromatics and flavours too. Unlike a lot of examples of bottle aged sherries I have come across this seemed to have maintained its shape and balance: compact and with solidity of flavour, and still with a full range from white fruit on the nose and at the start of the palate through those burnt almonds down to salty zing. It may have had more zip and power when it was younger – we all did – but there was certainly plenty left, and I didn’t notice any of the turn to bitterness that I sometimes associate with the older biological wines.

Absolutely top class. Nothing wrong with these golden oldies if you get the right ones!

 

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