Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Berry Bros. & Rudd Palo Cortado de Jerez 1/50 Vides

Palo Cortado Sherry is a style of sherry halfway between a Fino (or Amontillado) and an Oloroso. The wine is initially intended to be a flor-aged style such as Fino, but the flor dies away prematurely and the wine is exposed to the air, and takes on the nutty, oxidized character of Oloroso while retaining the tangy character of a flor-aged sherry.

Palo Cortado is also rare, as apparently only 1-2% of wines end up being used for this style.

This wine in particular bears the name of Sherry company Emilio Lustau SA. However, the actual producer of the sherry is the 'Almacenista' - the Bodegas who actually buys the wine or grape must and matures the sherry in their cellars. Lustau honours these Bodegas by including them on the label. In this case the Almacenista is Vides SA.

One other curiosity about the label - what does the '1/50' mean? This means that this wine was obtained from the producer's solera system of 50 barrels, or 'butts'.

Now, how was the wine? Pretty good I'd have to say. It's exactly how I described it in the first paragraph. It has the dark brown colouring and the initial nutty, caramel flavours of an Oloroso, but finishes with a salty tang reminiscent of a flor-aged sherry. Good depth and complexity, and the hybrid character is fascinating.

Lustau SA/Vides SA
Palo Cortado 1/50
Jerez, Spain
Berry Bros. & Rudd
£11.70 (375 ml)

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