'Less than a pound for every year we have been looking after it!' exclaimed Firmin Hidalgo while we tasted together and he discovered our price for this cracking sherry. Indeed although they legally have to state this is 20 years old, the Hidalgo Palo Cortado in fact spends at least 30 years in the solera before release. The results are sensational. This is super-sophisticated stuff and represents extraordinary value. Rich and beautifully textured. Loaded with tobacco leaf, some chopped dates, glorious molasses, spiced raisin and then a lifting creamy sweep surges through with a crisp, cutting edge of brighter more citrussy notes. Lift the whole and leaving you gasping for the next sip. The ever enterprising Hidalgo family initially came up with the 'Napoleon' brand of Palo Cortado to appeal to the invading French armies of the peninsular war in the early 1800s. When the Duke of Wellington arrived via Portugal to help the Spaniards rebuff this French invasion - the canny family saw another opportunity. The British would not drink a sherry called Napoleon - so they created a new brand - 'Wellington' - it survives to this day and is a masterclass in marketing - and great wine-making! L&S (Sep 2016)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The dark amber Wellington Palo Cortado is a richer style in its salty, mineral character. Rating: 90 Jay Miller, www.RobertParker.com (Oct 2017)
About 20 years old. Deep gold. Sweeter smelling than some though it is almost bone dry (RS c 3 g/l). Burnt orange and bitter caramel. Stands out for a marked tangy freshness and lots of dried-fruit intensity but also a hint of chamomile fragrance and a note of honey. Intense if slightly hard on the palate though there is a full richness that brings it back into balance. Rating: 17 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2017)
Founded in 1792 by José Pantaleón Hidalgo, and based in Sanlúcar de Barrameda in the south of Spain. Bodegas Hidalgo is the last remaining family run business to produce and export its own unblended, single-solera Sherries.
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