Medium amber color. Sweet-savory nose, of roasted nuts, caramel, orange and lemon. vanilla, redwood. On arrival, low tannin and medium-high acidity; essentially correct fora naturally occurring Palo Cortado (as opposed to a a blended one of sweet and dry sherries. Dry and high energy, there's a saltiness with repeat of citrus, nut and caramel in the mouth. Long, vivacious finish. Served with various tapas and a wild mushroom soup. Bottle #2 of two.
Beautiful dark amber color. The nose is intense and very complex dominated by rancio and dried dates, dried figs and butter with notes of walnut and cocoa. It is easy to expect a sweet wine based on the nose, but this wine is dry. On the palate the wine has very good acidity, medium body, and while the alcohol clearly is high it is seamlessly integrated and goes by without notice. The wine is intense and complex with butter, dried fruit, without becoming raisiny, and notes of cocoa, nuts and rancio. The finish is unmistakably walnutty. Long, complex, and beautiful. A wine for meditation.
N.V. Emilio Lustau (Almacenista) Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Palo Cortado Almacenista Vides 1/50 (Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry); 19 pabv. T-cork. Double-decanted and allowed to open with cork in place for 24 hours. A nearly green tawny, clear to center but still powerfully colored. Delicate, high-toned dry figgy sweetness, leather and sweet smoke; caramel opening up to a sweetness not unlike dry maple syrup. Somewhat hot at first but fine palo, fresh but fine finish. Excellent, nearly classic.
A rich, full-bodied, energetic wine with plenty of skin tang and tannins and great body. I'd estimate that this will improve another week or so with further airing and will plateau, from my experience, for several weeks. Will keep and improve in bottle unopened under t-cork for ten or more years. This wine is so tight and closed under its green robe that it needs quite a bit further aging before the typical palo cortado experience breaks through.
Now, at about 3 weeks: Caramel, dry fig, and veal consomme now emerge on nose and palate, with a smooth, bright acidity, salinity and having savory and umami-tinged length. Try giving it a full mouthful at this point. One of the best illustrations of the Trombley theory of Sherry maturation I've ever encountered; indeed, it well may have been the prototypical example. Give it another half-point.
A flight of sherries (Frog and Peach): Medium-intensity almost rose color, very pretty. Fairly faint but very complex nose, floral, citrus, fresh almonds. It is fairly light and racy, with loads of acid and citrus notes. Beautiful wine. Unfortunately, a fairly short finish with a bit of bitterness, but I'm not sure how long the bottle was open. Light, refreshing, and yummy. Not very complex, but quite enjoyable. While not the most contemplative of the wines in the flight, it was my most enjoyable of the four.
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(NV Lustau Almacenista Palo Cortado 1/50 Vides) This bottle comes from a very different source than my last one, and I am uncertain as to how long it has been cellared before opening - it has been in my possession at least a year. It certainly seems very different, starting with the colour, which has a toasty-brown-orange hue. The nose seems rather volatile, but underneath that baked earth characteristic there are aromas of mint, brazil nut and dark chocolate. The palate is firm, yet elegant, quite broad, cool and composed, although with a more aggressive midpalate which reveals a little hot and raspy spirit. What it certainly possesses is length, and an attractive one too. A nice weight at the finish as well. Overall a very good wine despite the initial volatility, but not quite the finesse of the best palo cortados which - from my limited experience - can be superb.
(NV Lustau Almacenista Palo Cortado 1/50 Vides) What a lovely toasted orange-amber hue - and what a nose! A gentle but complex interplay of vanilla toffee and pepper, cured meats, earth and burnt wood. A beautifully balanced entry, quite elegant and almost ethereal, yet developing a gentle creaminess through the midpalate. A little grip behind it, before it fans out on the finish to give a firm, sweetly ripe impression, leading into a complex length. This is quite stunning; I am very impressed.
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