Thursday, 18 January 2018

Cream 1886 18%, Infantes Orleans Borbón

Appearance
Deep mahogany fading to an amber rim.
Nose
Quite serious with a nice integration and balance between the Oloroso and PX. There are aromas of old barrels, traces of exotic woods but principally oak, spice and decent Oloroso with more muted notes of raisins and dates. It smells a little drier than it is.
Palate
The fruity PX notes are more to the fore followed by those of the Oloroso with some sweetness coming through, but it is not excessive and finishes fairly dry, just what a good Cream should do. There is a decent grapeskin texture and a gentle grip, and the palate is left with flavour like a faint trace of coffee and fine oak rather than cloying sweetness.
Comments
The Duc de Montpensier, son of the French King and (failed) pretender to the Spanish throne fell in love with Sanlúcar when he visited Andalucía in 1849. He later planted the famous Torrebreva vineyard but rented it out. It wasn't till 1943 that his descendants set up a bodega, in the impressive stables of the Duke's palace. They had bought old soleras and the wines were good, but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much happening these days. 
Price
10.95, De Albariza


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Table Wine Bodegas: Compañía de Vinos Entre Dos Aguas

Miguel Flores Toscano and Francisco Coro Leveque are old friends who share a passion to make wine by traditional methods which bring out the character of the vineyard. Miguel Flores is the nephew of Antonio Flores, the oenologist at González Byass. They work with fellow enthusiasts Ignacio Soto and José Andrés Lucena as well as a few helpful friends, and have been producing handmade unfortified organic wines with minimal resources and maximum enthusiasm since their first vintage in 2016.

Miguel Flores Toscano with Aminea (foto:Manu Gracia)

The expression “entre dos aguas” (between two waters) implies indecision and is also the name of a spectacular guitar piece by Paco de Lucía, while a techo de dos aguas is a pitched roof of the type commonly used in bodegas. The name of this venture however, comes from being between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The lads are refurbishing a bodega near Mesas de Asta between Jerez and Trebujena which used to belong to Almocadén.

Miguel in the vineyard

Here completely artisan methods are used. Grapes are destemmed by hand, trodden by foot and pressed in an old hand operated basket press while the must is fermented in old butts. They make white wine from Palomino grapes from the classic pagos of the Marco de Jerez; Añina, Balbaina, Miraflores (Viña El Armijo) and Macharnudo, a project they call Los Cuatro Pagos. The only difference between these wines is the vineyard. They also make a sparkling Gewürztraminer (you read that right!) completely by hand and with very basic equipment either by the traditional method using organic cane sugar for the licor de expedición or the ancestral method using concentrated PX must. It is called Aminea and only 100 bottles were produced. Another project is a sweet late harvest Tempranillo picked in the third week of October. This innovative and enthusiastic bodega will surely earn great success.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

16.1.18 High Parker Scores for Williams & Humbert

Luis Gutiérrez, the Wine Advocate’s Spanish wines specialist, has given some very high scores to Williams & Humbert. Wines scoring 90 to 96 points are “Outstanding wines of exceptional complexity and character, in short, these are terrific wines”. The firm’s Don Zoilo Amontillado and Oloroso scored 90 while Canasta 20 years old, launched at the end of 2016 scored 91. But more exciting still, were the excellent scores achieved by the Añada wines which oenologist Paola Medina has been working on since 2000. The Fino en rama Añada 2012 scored 94 and the Fino en rama Añada 2007”Tiento” scored 93. The Amontillado Añada 2003 scored 92+ while the Olorosos en rama Añadas 2001, 2003 and 2009 scored 92, 91+ and 90 respectively. These very high scores have given great recognition and encouragement to Paola’s pioneering work with single vintage wines, especially in the field of biological ageing, and she is to be congratulated.



Monday, 15 January 2018

Palo Cortado Los Caireles 19%, Portales Pérez

Appearance
Chestnut to mahogany to amber with bright copper tints.
Nose
Fresh and very nutty with lots of toasted almond and slight hints of turron, caramel, orange peel, cinnamon, and fine oak. It is very elegant and fairly tight with a faint saline twist reminding one of its Sanlúcar origins, but above all it has real charm.
Palate
Generously flavoured and clean, again with lots of nuts. It is medium bodied and dry but nicely rounded and again with that faint bitter saline note. It is a most attractive wine, beautifully balanced and with a little of that Sanlúcar verve and a very long clean finish.
Comments
This lovely wine was bottled from a small solera in early December as a special edition of just 500 bottles which will surely sell quickly as it is not only excellent but also well priced. The average age is over 15 years. This family- run bodega makes very good wine and deserves to be better known, and this could be the wine to give them the publicity they need.
Price
19.50, De Albariza

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Amontillado Perpendicular 18%, Las Botas

Appearance
Mahogany fading to amber with copper glints and the faintest trace of green at the rim.
Nose
Attractive, fairly intense and unusual with a distinct note of bitter orange along with toasted hazelnuts and almonds and gentle spice notes like vanilla and cinnamon. There are all sorts of nuances like pipe tobacco and oak.
Palate
It starts off quite full but soon displays considerable elegance, being well rounded and dry yet without any aggressive tannin. That orange character is still there but the nuts come through as it develops on the palate. There is a passing note of antique furniture as it fades, long and elegant
Comments
This wine is from the first saca of 700 bottles which comes from Bodegas Urium in Jerez. It is a blend of varying proportions of wine with a long period of biological ageing from four selected butts in the firm's Amontillado solera, and has an average age of over 20 years. The wine is bottled unfiltered. The name Perpendicular alludes to the two types of ageing involved; biological and oxidative. The Las Botas range is the brainchild of sommelier Raul Villabrille and César Velazquez of Balandro Vinos in Sevilla. Their first releases have been extremely good and the project augurs very well.
Price
29.80 euros per 50cl, La Tienda del Jerez


Saturday, 13 January 2018

Tinto Roble No Ni Ná NV 13.5%, Barbadillo

Appearance
Deep blacky red with a reasonably tight young cherry red rim.
Nose
Forest fruits: lots of berries like blueberry, bramble and raspberry with faint lactic and balsamic notes and a trace of Parma violet. There is a youthful jammy character with background traces of toast and spice from the oak giving it a touch of balancing seriousness.
Palate
Big and very fruity on entry, with all those fresh forest berries. Acidity is on the low side but it balances well and there is a faint ripe tannin undertow. It is on the commercial side but is rewarding easy everyday drinking and has lots of charm and general versatility.
Comments
The Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona is selling a new red Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz exclusively in all its branches in the province. It comes from Barbadillo’s Gibalbín vineyards and  is a blend of Tintilla, Merlot, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with two months ageing in a mix of American and French oak barrels. No vintage date is given, but according to the lot number on the back label it was bottled on November 23 2017, so one assumes it is from the 2016 vintage. Mercadona runs no fewer than 1,624 supermarkets throughout the country and has been highly successful thanks to its efficiency, partnership with suppliers and its willingness to react to feedback from customers whom it regards as its “bosses”. The majority of their wines are pretty pedestrian, but this - especially for the money - is better. The expression “no ni ná” is used in Cádiz to mean “yes of course”, the triple negative meaning affirmative. The province virtually has its own language.
Price
2.50 euros






Friday, 12 January 2018

Vermouth La Copa 15.5%, González Byass

Appearance
Deep mahogany fading to amber with copper highlights.
Nose
Aromatic with wormwood and quinine to the fore with raisin note from the PX behind, then come hints of Oloroso and orange before the whole ensemble comes together as an appealing bitter-sweet whole. It all seems perfectly balanced.
Palate
Initial sweetness gives way as the bitterness comes through but never takes over, it just balances nicely. There is a fullness, even a trace of viscosity which is kept in check by the bitter botanicals and it has a very long finish which dries a little leaving pleasant sensations.
Comments
In line with the resurgence of the popularity of Vermouth, González Byass re-launched its La Copa brand in spring 2016. The formula, which dates from 1896 and had been preserved in the bodega's historic archive, is exactly the same, as is the label. The brand "La Copa" or the glass was also used to brand the horses bred by the son of the firm's founder, the Marqués de Torresoto. The vermouth is made from a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez of at least eight years of age and the botanicals include wormwood, savory, clove, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, angelica and quinine.
Price
7.99 euros, El Corte Inglés