Sherry wines - Vinos de Jerez - Manzanilla, Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, Fino, Palo Cortado, Amontillado


Published on December 8th, 2015 | by Ruben


Royal Esmeralda Amontillado (Sandeman)

Royal Esmeralda is an old Amontillado from the Rare Wines series

Royal Esmeralda is a dry Amontillado matured in an old solera established in 1894, when George Sandeman acquired the soleras of Antonio Bernardo de Quiros, around 800 butts of Oloroso and Amontillado which he inherited from his father in 1855.

These wines are now part of Sandeman’s Rare Wines, the oldest sherries in the house. This series also includes a Rare Fino, a sweetened Oloroso ‘Royal Corregidor’ and a PX ‘Royal Ambrosante’. Except for the Fino, they’re all VOS wines of at least 20 years of age.

Of course Sandeman is better known for its Port wines, but they have always been fully committed to sherry wines as well. They used to own the vineyard El Corregidor (now Bodegas Luis Pérez). Although they were affiliated to Ruiz Mateos for some time (of the bankrupt Nueva Rumasa group), Sandeman itself is still managed by the seventh generation of the family.


‘Royal Esmeralda’ Amontillado VOS (20%, Sandeman, 50cl)

A really dark amber, caramelly colour.

Nose: elegant, fragrant and rather creamy, with sweet toffee, dried apricot and lots of almonds. Round and honeyed. There are nice overtones of the original Fino, with old flor and a refreshing lemony note. Hints of Gianduja, cinnamon and varnished oak, and the lightest whiff of smoke.

Mouth: a fairly high acidity at first (lemons, oranges), slowly becoming rounder with marzipan notes, lots of nutty notes (almonds, hazelnuts, cashew) and a warm oaky glow. Light briney touches. Cloves. Fades on light pepper and earthy / umami qualities. Maybe not the most forthcoming wine on the palate but very pleasant and rather complex. Medium finish, making you grab something to eat.

Availability: it seems to be phased out or at least difficult to find. I bought mine in Holland some time ago for € 22.

Summary: Quite a round, mellow nose and an acidic onset which makes place for biscuity qualities. Intense, interesting wine. A great Amontillado, well priced and worth checking out.


Very good

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About the Author

is a Certified Sherry Educator who fell in love with sherry some 25 years ago, but switched to a higher gear in 2013 and started writing about it. Lived in Madrid for a couple of years, now back in Belgium. I also run a whisky blog over at

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