The extraordinary NV La Bota de Fino 85 “Un fino que va para amontillado…” is not a wine from Jerez but from Montilla-Moriles in the province of Cordova, an appellation where the majority of vines are Pedro Ximénez and the wines produced are similar to Jerez wines. In fact, Amontillado means "in the style of Montilla," because the style originated there. This wine, from the same origin as edition 45 (and 24) that would be called Fino Amontillado if it wasn't forbidden, has taken biological aging under flor to an extreme, and the wine has started its oxidative aging on its way to becoming an Amontillado. So, it has the saline complexity of the flor and the incipient notes of nuts and varnish. The grapes are picked extremely late, and this was never fortified. This has great finesse and can stand up to a lot of Palomino wines. It didn't show any rusticity and was more about finesse. It's from the same solera as the two previous bottlings, but this was somehow more biological, less concentrated or less oxidative. It might have a little more precision. As the wine sat in the glass and warmed up, the palate took off and revealed an unusual combination of power and elegance. This is really surprising and very good. 2,800 bottles were filled in December 2018. Drinking range: 2019 - 2026 Rating: 96+ Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com (Jun 2019)
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Bottled October 2018. 3,000 bottles. Sourced from the oldest Fino solera in Pérez Barquero’s Bodega Los Amigos: a total of 63 butts located in the third row, of which they chose 15 that represent the current state of the solera – the ones that most clearly showed an incipient amontillamiento while preserving the Fino character – as proved by its alcoholic content of 16%. Estimated age 12–14 years. But this is still a Fino, aged under a fragile layer of flor that time has darkened, weakened, and partly torn into patches. Unfined and virtually unfiltered. Mid gold. Smells riper and a little more toasty/yeasty than the 83 La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada just tasted. More sour apricot and bitter orange but still with those fine oxidative notes of the beginning of Amontillado, as the name suggests. More nutty too but here it’s more like toasted hazelnuts. Not quite as fine or subtle as the 83 but perhaps more power and even more salty on the finish. Incredible length and so aromatic on the palate as well as the nose. Glorious spread of flavour across the palate, where the 83 was more arrow-like and precise in it shape. Rating: 18.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Aug 2019)
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