Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 88

YEAR'S BEST SHERRY:
AMONTILLADO, PALO CORTADO & SWEET
Our blind panels tasted 105 new-release oxidative Sherries over the past 12 months.
Patricio Tapia, our critic for Spanish wines, rated 35 as exceptional (90+) and 13 as Best Buys.
Find a complete list of wines tasted and all reviews at wineandspiritsmagazine.com.

AMONTILLADO
222230

97 | Yuste

$173/375ml

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Conde de Aldama
Amontillado ^ Francisco Yuste bought an
old Amontillado solera in 1927 that had
been established in the Barrio Alto district
of Sanlúcar de Barrameda in 1740. Today,
the Yuste family believes that the average
age of the wines in this solera is more than
100 years, making the wine one of the oldest
marketed in all of Jerez. This Amontillado,
blended from those casks, is a trip. First it
evokes the seashore, with its flavors of salt,
shells and iodine; then it reveals the lime
and mushroom scents the wine developed
as it matured under the veil of flor. With air,
there are notes of walnuts, smoked almonds
and spices. While the aromas are as delicate
and nuanced as a perfume, in flavor, with its
direction and strength, it is a bullet. § Classical
Wines, Seattle, WA
221825

96 | González Byass

$114/500ml

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Cuatro Palmas Amontillado ^ With the Palmas series, González
Byass aims to show the evolution of wine
under flor, from younger wines (Una Palma)
to older (Cuatro Palmas). This Amontillado
comes from a solera of only six casks, with an
average age of about 45 years. Be prepared
when you open it: This wine is tremendous
in size and impact. Saline and dry in flavor,
it's as austere as a Franciscan monk in penance. The flavors are all mineral at first-
chalk and iodine-but, if you give it time in
the glass, it gets more fun, developing flavors
of almonds, black pepper and mushrooms. §
González Byass USA, Chicago, IL
223011

96 | El Maestro Sierra

WINE & SPIRITS

95 | El Maestro Sierra

$36

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Amontillado ^ This is
the youngest of El Maestro Sierra's Amontillados, from a solera where the wines are an
average of 12 years old. In the classic style of
the house, it feels delicate, with soft, seductive salty aromas, but the youthfulness of the
blend adds an inner strength, a force felt in
the wine's mineral acidity and textural grip.
Give it time in the glass: With air, what at first
seems easy to understand becomes something more complex. § De Maison Selections,
Chapel Hill, NC
222346

94 | Dios Baco

OCTOBER 2017

signifying that it's a Fino that lost most of
its flor and began to oxidize, transitioning
towards an Amontillado. Now called AB, a
reference to Andrés Botaina, the original
owner of the vineyard that supplied the
grapes for the wine, this is a blend of wines
that average 12 years of age. Youthful in its
strength and vigor, this takes its time to
reveal the fruity notes hidden behind the
salty flavor. Then it becomes a refreshing and
vibrant delight-a gentle giant in a state of
vital youth. § González Byass USA, Chicago, IL
222014

92 | Delgado Zuleta

$16

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Dry Amontillado (Best
Buy) ^ Light in body and nearly stabbing in
acidity, this is dominated by marine flavors
that bring to mind smoked oysters in their
depth, richness and complexity. The acidity
seems to accelerate through the wine, stirring
up notes of spice and toasted almonds as the
flavors last. § Frontier Wine Imports, Dover, NJ

$100

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Imperial VOS 20
Amontillado ^ Imperial is the top of the line
for Dios Baco, blended from some of the
house's oldest wines. This bottling comes
from a solera with wines that average 20
years of age. It immediately charms, with an
intriguing mix of apricot and chalk notes,
then becomes austere, as dry as a stone. Give
it time in the glass or decant it for smoked
sardines. § Cordelina Wine Co., Gold River, CA
222350

92 | Dios Baco

$30

92 | González Byass

$50

$26

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Elite Amontillado
Medium (Best Buy) ^ The Elite line from
Dios Baco focuses on soleras with wines of
medium sweetness that average 35 years of
age. This Amontillado offers gentle sweetness, but not enough to put off a dry-Sherry
lover: The salinity is such that it brings a mineral balance vis-à-vis the touches of candied
figs and walnuts. Pour it with blue cheese. §
Cordelina Wine Co., Gold River, CA
221833

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Viña AB 12 Años Amontillado Seco (Best Buy) ^ González Byass
used to call this wine a "Fino Amontillado,"

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry del Duque VORS
Amontillado ^ This muy viejo Amontillado

$110

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry 1830 Amontillado ^ This
Amontillado is based on a solera established
by the founder of the bodega, José Antonio
Sierra, in 1830. He was a master cooper at
the time and, little by little, he stored up
enough wines to establish his own winery.
Today, the wines of this solera average about
50 years of age, and the salinity of their flavors is extreme: You might wonder if you're
88

tasting sea water rather than wine, which, in
theory, does not sound very good, but, in this
case, is delicious. Notes of dried fruits, nuts,
almonds and iodine unite with the saline flavors to create a wine that is both powerful
and firm, balanced and elegant. § De Maison
Selections, Chapel Hill, NC
223006

221844

93 | González Byass


http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com https://www.cordelinawine.com/bodegas_dios_baco/ http://www.gonzalezbyassusa.com/winery/gonzalez-byass-sherries/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - October 2017

Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 4
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 6
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 7
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 8
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 9
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 10
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover4
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