Yesterday I popped my Royal Esmeralda, Sandeman’s Amontillado VOS. This bottle predated the VOS label (number 13xx of a saca of 1500 half-liter bottles in 2000). At 20% alcohol it’s rather polished, almost tame with a sort of odd Montilla evocation, and fairly long. It was begging for air, so I’ll retry tonight before leaving for Valencia.
The I shot for a glass of Lustau’s Oloroso Pata de Gallina (2003), again 20% alcohol, that needed even more air. I had a very positive memory of it from Vinoble, so I left it on the dinner table until this morning, and by now the nose is more or less what I remember.
So I had to settle for a glass of Vinícola Hidalgo’s Oloroso Viejísimo, also 20% alcohol (did I mention I always pour reasonable servings?). That one I’ve held open for about 3 months and of course it was singing. It had paler color and almost an evocation of flor when compared to the other two, even the Amontillado. Very serious, austere, with no plump concessions, and superb nutty fragrance. Very long too.
I found quite interesting your remark about these odd Montillan notes. Given my obstinate neglect of Montilla, I cannot identify those characteristic notes in old wines. Perhaps you can help me.
On the other hand, your insights on Hidalgo’s oloroso are quite revealing. As you know -in the same stubborn mould-, I think there are differences between the amontillados of Jerez and Sanlúcar. Likewise, there are some hints that something quite similar happens with olorosos: while those coming from Sanlúcar are thinner and slightly salty (not lacking finesse), the jerezanos are more ";full";.
Well, the Hidalgo was a surprise from the start. Thinner, paler, and having a sort of electric wire through it. Now I know what to expect...and I retry very often!
I mention the flor thing tongue in cheek because if we follow the Jeffs argumentation about the flor consuming the glycerol (where flor does develop, of course) this would seem to be the case: there is a sort of remorseless no-prisoners austerity here, it’s extremely dry, not a bit of fat, it really reminds me of a palo cortado in the palate.
The Montilla bit about the Sandeman is probably nonsense, but I found it (opening night) a tad too old/dim to properly evoke its biological crianza. When I get back from V4 I’ll retry properly.
And yesterday evening I enjoyed a GLORIOUSLY fresh half bottle of Aurora (I thought fresher than the ’en rama’ bottling) watching Spain crush Norway between its jaws...
Why do I have the feeling, Gastro, that you of all people would be amused by this rather distastful news story about sherry?
Woman Accused of Giving Lethal Sherry Enema
Thu Feb 3,10:36 AM ET
HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas woman has been indicted for criminally negligent homicide for causing her husband’s death by giving him a sherry enema, a police detective said on Wednesday.
Tammy Jean Warner, 42, gave Michael Warner two large bottles of sherry on May 21, which raised his blood alcohol level to 0.47 percent, or nearly six times the level considered legally drunk in Texas, police detective Robert Turner in Lake Jackson, Texas, told the Houston Chronicle.
";We’re not talking about little bottles here,"; Turner said. ";These were at least 1.5-liter bottles.";
Warner, 58, was said to have an alcohol problem and received the wine enema because a throat ailment left him unable to drink the sherry, Turner told the newspaper.
";I heard of this kind of thing in mortuary school in 1970, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of someone actually doing it,"; said Turner, who led the lengthy investigation in the case.
The woman admitted administering the enema, but denied causing her husband’s death, the Chronicle said.
A dispatcher for the Lake Jackson police said only Turner could discuss the case, but he did not return phone calls from Reuters.
Along with negligent homicide, Mrs. Warner was indicted for burning her husband’s will a month before his death. Both charges carry maximum penalties of two years in prison.
Mrs. Warner surrendered to police on Monday and was released on $30,000 bail, the newspaper said.
I bet (in theory at least) that had it been good sherry (NOT of the sort that sells in mag) the guy would be perfectly alive if possibly not thoroughly sober yet!
This story gives new meaning to the phrase, ";drunken *sshole.";