Region: Jerez, Spain
Perfect with: cured meats, soft blue cheese, foie gras and nuts.
Why You'll Love It?
Palo cortado is a rare type of sherry that starts off as a fino, aged for many years under a layer of flor, but inexplicably loses its veil of flor and finishes its life ageing oxidatively. As a result the favours are much concentrated. Supposedly these types of sherries are created by accident, but their increasing appearance would suggest some human intervention may be the cause. Nevertheless they are still the rarest form of sherry with less than 100 bottles sold a year.
The Cayetano del Pino family has been in the sherry industry since 1880s as an ‘Almacenista’ – an ageing warehouse, procuring and nurturing sherries in small lots until they are ready to bottled. Their Palo Cortado Viejisimo Solera is extremely rare with only 60 cases produced each year (hence 1/5 – one of five butts). The average age is 35-40 years old.
Ever wondered who are these women on sherry labels? Since the late 19th and early 20th century they began painting traditional Spanish folklore figures on labels, particularly on the more expensive wines. As a lot of people were still illiterate, visual representations were more effective than names. The figures were also largely gypsy women like the one here as it was mostly men who bought and drank wines.
'Deep golden ochre with a really complex aroma: Seville orange, nutty, lapsang smokiness and smoky bitter caramel. Honeyed and smooth even though it is dry with immense concentration and depth. Tangy flavours contribute freshness. Incredibly long and complex on the palate. Terrific wine with an attractive bitter note at the very end.' 18/20 (JH- Jancis Robinson)
Palo Cortado should be served at a slightly higher temperature than an Amontillado (around 14°C).