Saturday, 10 October 2009

PX I love you

From bone dry Finos to unctuous PXs, Sherry runs the gamut of the flavour spectrum and goes fantastically well with all kinds of food. Here are the pick of the bunch from a recent tasting put on by the Sherry Institute of Spain at the Spanish Embassy in London – olé!

Bodegas Pérez Marín, La Guita Manzanilla ****

Fresh and bright, there is clear sea air on the nose coupled with wild floral aromas and yeasty notes. Light and fresh on the palate, with an appealing savoury Umami taste and enveloping persistence. £10.99; Vinoteca

Bodegas Lustau, Puerto Fino ****

Light, dry and tangy with flor aromas and lashings of salty Marmite. On the nose are chestnuts, almonds and a hint of spice. Soft and well balanced the palate, this Fino has attractive freshness and excellent length. £13.50; Roberson

Bodegas Gonzáles Byass, Del Duque Amontillado Muy Viejo *****

Amber colour, with toasted almond, hazelnut, vanilla and caramel aromas blended with zesty lemon. Powerful, dry and nutty in the mouth with oxidized notes and surprising acidity that fades into a rich hazelnut finish. £18;

Bodegas Sánchez Romate, NPU Amontillado *****

Made in the classic, very dry amontillado style, which the Spanish favor, this is a delightful wine. The complex nose combines toasted almonds and hazelnuts, toffee and vanilla. Powerful, dry and balanced on the palate, it has an intense tang and a hint of Fino saltiness in the exquisite lingering finish. £14.99; Wimbledon Wine Cellar

Williams and Humbert, Dos Cortados V.O.S 20-year-old Palo Cortado ****

Amber colour, it showed warm vanilla and spicy notes on the nose, along with a sprinkling of salted almonds. The palate is soft, spicy and nutty with hints of citrus fruit and an attractive nutty complexity. An excellent rich mouthfeel balanced by wonderful acidity that blends into a lingering hazelnut finish. £12.99; Theatre of Wine

Fernando de Castilla, Antique Oloroso *****

Tawny colour, it has a light typical nose of almonds and hazelnuts, along with attractive citrus orange peel notes. The palate is dry, with a lovely nutty savouriness and hints of spice. A bright, vibrant wine with wonderful freshness and exceptional length. £23; The Sampler

Sandeman, Royal Corregidor Rich Old Oloroso ****

An attractive mahogany colour with a heady nose of nuts, dried fruits, prunes, raisins and sultanas - there’s a lot going on here. Lots of lovely rich ripe fruit on the palate, which is elegant and velvety rather than cloying due to refreshing acidity. £14.99; Harrods

John Harvey & Sons Ltd, V.O.R.S 30-year-old Rich Old Oloroso *****

A walnut colour, we’re in Oloroso heartland here. Rich, spicy, nutty nose with dollops of caramel and toffee. The palate is intense, mouthfilling and complex with attractive oxidized notes, fresh citrus and a creamy sweetness pairing with dried fruits into a long nutty finish. Price tbc; Bordeaux Quay

Bodegas Valdivia, Sacromonte Pedro Ximénez ****

Dark brown, the nose is rich and aromatic, with raisins, figs, plum jam and honey in the mix, alongside roasted coffee beans and a strange but appealing truffle aroma. Smooth and velvety in the mouth, it’s sweet and treacly without being cloying. £19.95; Laymont & Shaw

Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, Triana Pedro Ximénez *****

Almost black, it has serious legs that leave the glass with a golden brown coating. This is a very traditional PX with everything you would expect – warm wintry raisins, figs, prunes, sultanas and mince pies on the nose and an opulent palate that bursts with bitter treacle and lingers lusciously in the mouth. £12.99; Wine Rack

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