Oloroso VOS Valdespino
Described as an "Oloroso Dulce" on the label, it is only just sweet enough to soften the old, dry and concentrated flavour. L&S (Mar 2005)
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Contains 10% PX from another solera. Blended and then aged together. Dark tawny. About the same age as Don Gonzalo. It’s described as Medium Sweet on the label but actually you could happily drink this with ham or cheese – or as an aperitif on a cold winter’s day. Good balance. Very rich start and it finishes dry. Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2016)
This wine is from a solera begun in the mid 19th century (though obviously, through fractional blending, the wine drawn from the solera today is nothing like that old. But what I loved about it was that it is clearly long aged in oak, with lots of oxidative rancio notes, and yet has the balance of sweetness and even fruit just right. Every sherry bodega worth its salt has a little stash of very old wine that has been aged in wood for decades. Many of these wines are downright painful to taste – so austere and almost bitter are they. And then there are the older sherries that are made acceptable by the simple expedient of adding sweetening, usually in the form of dried raisiny Pedro Ximenez. But this sherry has so much acidity and depth of nutty flavour that it tastes just off dry – quite dry enough to serve with a main course, or with cheese, ham or nuts (and definitely not sweet enough to serve with a really sweet dessert). Wine and food writer Francis Percival apparently enjoyed this gorgeously nuanced wine at his wedding with Eccles cakes (I’m guessing these particular currant pastries came from St John bakery in London) and crumbly, salty Lancashire cheese. I bet that match was great. Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2011)
2006 Rating: GOLD International Wine Challenge 2015 (Jun 2006)
Bodega Valdespino is one of the oldest bodegas in Jérez, originating in 1264, when King Alfonso X gave Don Alfonso Valdespino the gift of land in the City of Jérez. He was one of 24 Christian knights who fought to regain the City of Jérez from the Moors. The company of today was formed in 1875, but commercial activities are thought to date as far back as 1430. In 1999, Valdespino was bought by Grupo Estévez who were able to fund and maintain the traditional methods for which Valdespino is famous. Valdespino Sherries remain among the very best quality available, and Inocente is still the best Fino in the market, as well as being the only Sherry to be produced from the grapes of a single vineyard. Subtle changes to some of the other wines appear to have been for the best. Tío Diego Amontillado is now a little softer in style making it even more appealing and Don Gonzalo has been re-released in the VS range of older Solera wines.
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