Paola Medina in the new Taberna Palo Cortado

I see that when I tried to insert the photo I accidentally published the post, before writing it. Will report further in due course. (Spoiler: it was a cracking night with some really interesting wines and an exciting young winemaker in the new home of sherry lovers in Madrid.)


Lakasa plus la Barajuela

An absolutely superb lunch in Lakasa today. Not a surprise you might say, but you had to be there.

Yes, we drank a bottle (and a half) of Fino La Barajuela 2013 – Saca de 2017 – and it absolutely sang – as did my colleague as the meal progressed (Heaven 17, if you must ask). What an absolutely majestic wine – vaut le voyage on its own, but with flavourful food like this just perfection.

Because even with such a liquid on the table it was hard to take our eyes off the solids. There were five half courses of superlative flavour and texture (yes, I forgot to photograph one of them), followed by not one but two servings of the superb cheesecake – an absolute beauty made with idiazabal. Would be very hard to choose between the dishes but the cerceta (teal) was a little flavour bomb on its bed of roast aubergine, and the scimitar sharp fino could not have been better with it. The texture of the peas, the yoke of the egg and the papada, the flavors of the boar, the lobster, the cock, the calçot and romescu – it is very rare to have such quality every time a plate is put in front of you.

One of the great lunches in a great place, with a truly great wine.

La Maruja and La Guita 

Another fascinating side by side (aka excuse to drink two quality wines together). And these are two quality Sanlucar wines. The Maruja manzanilla pasada (april 2017) and the La Guita en rama (october 2015). 

For all that they have in common they are also quite different: the Guita (probably the younger wine) is deeper in colour, higher and more chalky/metallic in register and maybe a little warm and briney in the finish, while the Maruja is more savoury, more intense, is slippier and has a little more herbal breadth, with the salinity coming across as spicey rather than hot. 

I personally am a big fan of La Guita – it really has a unique chalky character – and am really looking forward to the new batch this winter but frankly I doubt that this bottle of La Maruja will even make it to next week … 

El Majuelo, Vinagre de Jerez, 10 años

This here is as different from your “vinegar flavoured condiment” that it is possible to get. This here, is the real thing.

A generous gift from a friend (searching on line to find out more about it I discovered how generous) this is a limited, numbered edition 10 year old “gran reserva” vinegar, here being utterly wasted on a mixed salad by the ignoramus responsible for this blog. (Having said that, ever since I have been wracking my tiny brain for suggestions of what dish is good enough for such a vinegar, with no luck so far).

How to describe it? Well it is to your standard white wine vinegar what a VORS oloroso is to a mosto – incomparably more intense. Full bodied and dark in color, it has the most unbelievable aroma (I knew I had made a mistake right away) and is even more incisive taste wise. A really intense experience.

Really worth looking out for this stuff – a really eye opener.




Williams Colección Añadas “Tiento” Fino 2007 

The Williams & Humbert 2006 Fino was a pioneer, the first vintage fino I ever tried, and one of the finest too. It was followed by the fantastic Colección Añadas and happily now by this new release, complete with the stylized Williams’ bottle and a flamenco inspired brand name (tempt, as in temptation), with future releases likely to be similarly monikered. 

It is not quite the same style as its elegant predecessor. The 2006 had just over eight years of static biological ageing but this one nearly ten, and I feel you can sense a little more oxidation. It is slightly darker in colour, slightly more potent in alcohol and has more sweetness in flavour. 

But like the 2006 it has a wine-like fruit and texture that sets it apart from your solera finos, and in common with the other wines from the Colección a racey, spirity character. It is lush and tasty, not as aggressively saline as some solera wines and that touch of oxidation and acidity makes its finish sweet and spicey. 

Excellent stuff, full of character and personality. An excellent vintage, you might  say. 

Angelita again again 

Allow me to insist: if you love wine you will love Angelita. If you enjoy eating, the same is true. And they have a new chef, and a new list of wines by the glass, which to me seem like perfect reasons to go there if you haven’t been for a while. But suit yourselves. It is a free country etc.