Firstly thanks to Toby for organising ,and running around the bodegas and importers to collect these sherries together. This was an amazing tasting for me - I like sherry, but I don't drink enough of these styles and it was
quite an eye opener. Toby was an excellent presenter, with some choice lines, and matched perfectly with the wines .
First a few Fino's :
1.Puerto Fino (Lustau)
nuts and apples on nose, good almond palate VG
2.Fino Inocente (Valdespino)
crisper and more cut apple, very crisp palate. VG ( I enjoyed this more than the Puerto Fino )
3.Amontillado Tio Diego (Valdespino)
Very nutty nose, salty and v conc on palate, not quite to my taste? Good +
4.Manzanilla Amontillado, Almacenista Jurado (Lustau)
Good sea breeze nose , nutty and long palate VG
5.Antique Palo Cortado (Fernando de Castilla)
No sea here, caramel and nuts nose with a slighlty sweeter gentle nut palate VG+
6.Antique Oloroso (Fernando de Castilla)
Smokey nuts nose and fine caramel palate VG+
By this time I was getting desperate for a plate of salted almonds , but the Romero wines were a no show, and Toby was going to get us to try everything, so we tried some Domecq wines from his cellar (Toby was concerned that these wines may not show too well due to age in bottle/cellar).
7.Amontillado 51-1a (Pedro Domecq)
Sharp fine and nutty ,maybe a little tired?
8.Palo Cortado Sibarita (Pedro Domecq)
Very nutty nose and and almost dusty bitter walnut palate with a touch of sweet PX raisin kicking in VG+ I really like this, but I have had the Oloroso Sibarita before and I think I like it a little better.
At this point my palate was starting to get a bit bogled, these were amazing complex wines and I need more time to reflect on wine like this, but we were on a timetable.
9.Amontillado Viejo Pastrana (Hidalgo La Gitana)
Quite a caramel nose, salty concentrated and fine palate really interesting stuff VG+ - Ex
10.Amontillado Coliseo (Valdespino)
Toby made a few comments as the pourers went round with this - we had 2 bottles between appx 50 people, its very rare and one critic has described it as (something like ) "so fine and intense as to be undrinkable" . With a build up like that, the wine has to be special, this was. A fine mahogany wood nose - this really reminded me of my Gran's old sideboard ( for which I had much childhood affection, it was a lovely piece of furniture )a beautiful nose, on the palate it was very fine, concentrated and had this deep wood crystal clarity. This was excellent maybe even outstanding . It needless to say divided the room, some people did not like it at all, I just need to get my hands on some.
11.Oloroso Viejo (Hidalgo La Gitana)
A fine caramel nose and some nut complexity, good long finish but just not as good as the Coliseo, VG+
What an amazing tasting - the finish of the Coliseo will stay with me for some time!