Published on November 26th, 2019 | by Ruben0
Don Gonzalo Oloroso VOS (Valdespino)
Don Gonzalo is an Oloroso made by Bodegas Valdespino, with an average age of around 25 years (VOS age category). Valdespino is running two parallel Oloroso soleras. One is lightly sweetened (Solera 1842) and the other is dry Oloroso (Don Gonzalo), or at least virtually dry. In the past there was a tendency to add a tiny amount of Pedro Ximénez to very old soleras. It rounds off the rough edges that appear after decades in wooden barrels. However at just +/- 5 grams of sugar per liter, the sweetness will go by unnoticed.
The solera for this wine was started in the late 19th century. Most of the grapes come from the pago Carrascal, which is the vineyard zone farthest from the sea. Traditionally this area produces intense wines, mostly Oloroso. However, occasionally some grapes from Macharnudo have been used.
Oloroso Don Gonzalo V.O.S. (21%, Valdespino)
Nose: wide and sensual, with a fairly dark and caramelly style. Nicely polished / slightly solventy oak. Lots of toasted almonds and hazelnuts. Then also hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Lovely smoky notes (think Cuban cigars) and hints of apricot pastry with a browned crust and a little vanilla. Bright orange peel as well.
Mouth: quite intense and serious. Dry with plenty of dark, toasted notes, balanced by a bright, tangy acidity. Indeed no sharp edges, but no noticeable sweetness either. Then dark chocolate, raisins, cigar leaves, espresso, lots of nutty notes (walnuts, hazelnuts), light hints of clove and cedar wood, as well as a good bitterness. Very long, elegant finish.
Availability: between € 50-70 for a full bottle, depending on the market (Bodeboca for instance, or The Whisky Exchange which has a very good price). The price seems to have increased significantly in recent years, but still good value.
Summary: Don Gonzalo is a serious, intense Oloroso with heaps of character. It has a lot of dark, oaky influence but no rough edges thanks to the subtle dash of PX. A tamed beast, in fact it seems older than 20 years.