Other Booze Sherry/Madeira Thread

Discussion in 'Whiskey, Wine & Other Booze' started by jedwards, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. jedwards

    jedwards

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Location:
    SF
    I'm getting more into sherry & Madeira lately (inspired, unsurprisingly, by all the "sherry-like" descriptions of vintage beer), and I'm going to talk about it here. We might also talk about Vin Jaune. Maybe dry Szamorodni. Anything oxidized and awesome.

    Good local sherry spot has some special tastings for International Sherry Week, checked it out last night:

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    This was their intro tasting, left-to-right:
    Bodegas Hildalgo Manzanilla "La Gitana", which I've had a few times previously -- good intro Manzanilla, briny nose, citric, very thin and astringent. Good with cheese.
    Gonzales Byass Palo Cortado "Leonor", had last time I was in -- pretty good a-little-of-everything PC, nice spice & berry nose, good candied orange/currant on the palate.
    Gonzales Byass Oloroso "Alfonso", light whiskey color, fruity (grape?) toffee nose, nice balance of richness and astringency on the palate, some raison, green walnut, and tannic grape skin stuff. Excellent.
    Lustau PX "San Emilio", pretty classic young PX -- looks and feels like maple syrup, tastes like raisin puree with a touch of orange zest and spice. Not really my thing.

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    Now what I came in for... the half-price "Old & Rare" tasting. Left-to-right again:
    Valdespino Manzanilla Deliciosa En Rama, pale straw color, intense citrus pith/saline/brine nose, remarkably rich palate with pear, honey, sweet fruit-tree flowers, and a little thyme. Maybe my favorite Manzanilla I've ever tried.
    Bodegas Toro Albala Amontillado Viejisimo, light caramel color, bright butterscotch nose, starts off savory/briny then moves to a pecan/plum midpalate with a slight alcohol burn accentuating the classic vinous components. Not totally my thing, but exceptionally well-crafted.
    Gonzales Byass Apostoles, a perennial favorite of mine. Nice surprise to see it in this flight. Dark red in color, huge spice/fig/rye whiskey nose, taste of lemon zest, tart raspberry, hazelnut and almond -- perfect balance between sweet and tart. This is a palo cortado that spends the last fifteen years of its life in used PX barrels and takes the whole a-little-of-everything PC palate to a new level. Just a great sherry.
    Bodegas Toro Albala PX Gran Reserva 1983 (birth year sherry!), almost opaque, tons of the usual raisin balanced with a slight but pleasant mustiness, a sort of spice cake richness, almost chewy fig flavor, some floral cirtus (bergamot?), and a strong acidity that cuts through the sweetness. One of the only PXs I've ever had that I really enjoyed as a straight drink.

    Not pictured, I tried some Gutierrez Colosin Oloroso "Sangre y Trabajadero", dark rum color, subtle spice nose with some boozy intensity, really bright acidity with a nice walnut rancio flavor and some green/unripe fig notes. Also some Alvear Fino which was on the far end, white wine color, light grainy nose, apple & lemon on the palate.
     
  2. Abitker

    Abitker

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    That Valdespino is awesome. I like sherry but don't drink quite enough of it...Same for Vin Jaune, which can be truly fascinating stuff. You should check out some of the sous voille savagnins/chards from Jura. Puffeney's Cuvee Sacha is a great one for the $ and, if you want to spend the money, Ganevat makes some great ones. Julien Labet also makes some great wines and while I never see them in NYC, it's somehow everywhere in the bay area.
     
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  3. SeaWatchman

    SeaWatchman

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    Oceania
    Checking in with a sous voile Savagnin from Tissot that I opened tonight before dinner. 2007, bottled Nov 2010. Truly amazing stuff, really. Have about half the bottle left.

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  4. Abitker

    Abitker

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    New Haven, CT
    Love Tissot's wines.
     
  5. matt_6

    matt_6

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    Brooklyn
    Ten Bells had some Labet a while back, but I haven't seen it since. WS says discovery on Ave B has some chard in stock.
     
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  6. jedwards

    jedwards

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Location:
    SF
    No pic, but had the Blandy's 20 Year Terrantez out at dinner tonight. Really nice -- quite light, almost amber, with a vanilla, almond, and dried apricot nose, nice balance of sweetness and a cutting spicy acidity. I had it with cheese which worked quite well. Interesting earthy smoke thing in the finish that I haven't gotten off a Terrantez before, but I haven't had many.
     
  7. Evan1212

    Evan1212

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  8. jedwards

    jedwards

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    Jul 26, 2013
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    Had a glass of D'Oliveiras Verdelho 1986 at dinner tonight -- surprisingly light, really nice nutty pecan flavor, sweet but very balanced acidity. Excellent dirnk.
     
  9. HenrikO

    HenrikO

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Location:
    Karlstad, Sweden
    Thanks for the tip jedwards . Damn good sherry. Finished my first bottle in like two weeks, immediately ordered a second one, now that's running low too... Had a glass tonight, may have to have a second. For science.
     
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  10. jedwards

    jedwards

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    Yes! It's such a great product. I have to update this thread more often... had some Hidalgo-La Gitana Oloroso Faraón last night, not the most exciting sherry around (I do keep getting recommended the Faraón VORS, need to track some down eventually), but a decent drier Oloroso with a ton of orange blossom/almond on the nose.
     
  11. HenrikO

    HenrikO

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    Location:
    Karlstad, Sweden
    jedwards how is the Gonzalez Byass Matusalem? It's locally available and I'm curious.
     
  12. jedwards

    jedwards

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    Jul 26, 2013
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    It's very well-made, but not to my taste -- IIRC it's 75% Oloroso and 25% straight PX, so quite sweet. I've heard it described as the best possible cream sherry.
     
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  13. HenrikO

    HenrikO

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    Oct 9, 2013
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    Karlstad, Sweden
    I prefer the drier stuff too, but once in a while I need dat sweetness. Thx for the review!
     
  14. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I really enjoy single malts finished in sherry barrels so I think I'd like to try sherry. I think Ardbeg Uigeadail is finished in Oloroso barrels, is that a sweeter or drier sherry? Also, how hard is it find sherry, I couldn't find any at some mid-grade liquor stores?
     
  15. jedwards

    jedwards

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
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    Oloroso is kind of the middle range in terms of sweetness -- in theory they're quite dry (in terms of residual sugar) but because of their flavor structure it's easy to perceive them as being sweeter (sherry's weird in that from a technical perspective, they're either super sweet (PX) or completely dry (everything else) -- the Byass sherries we're discussing above are blends/hybrids that span the gap). It would definitely be my recommendation for someone coming from sherry-aged Scotch to start with a Oloroso and go from there.

    Sherry is unfortunately somewhat tough to find a variety of... you'll likely have to call around a bit and possibly even get a special order. If you can, the Gonzales Byass Oloroso "Alfonso" is a great drink, very representative of the style, and should be straightforward to get your hands on. Another option is the Gutierrez Colosia Oloroso "Sangre y Trabajadero", which reminds me much more of some of the positive qualities one finds from sherry aging of scotch (e.g. nuttiness, spice, unripe fruit acidity). If you have problems locating any locally, PM me and I'd be happy to GPIUFMB some for you!
     
  16. franch

    franch

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    Washington, DC
    alvera pedro ximinez solera 1927. where it's at.
     
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  17. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay

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    SE Michigan
    Harder to find than I thought, I'll have to drive to some upscale areas I guess.
     
  18. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay

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    Dec 23, 2014
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    SE Michigan
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    Finally found one! Enjoying it very much.
     
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  19. lyoung8

    lyoung8

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    Oct 5, 2014
    A friend of mine is in Barcelona for the week and said she'd pick some sherry up for me and I figured I'd try a PX and an Oloroso -- not looking to spend too much money but at the same time I don't want to waste it. After doing a small bit of research I'm wondering if anyone has tried any of these? The Don Reserve and Fernando de Castilla seem to have good reviews for bottles in the 25-30 euro range...

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  20. jtmartino

    jtmartino

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    Jan 15, 2014
    Location:
    West
    Not a huge sherry drinker but this cheap stuff isn't bad.

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