Published on October 9th, 2020 | by Ruben0
Bottle Aged Sherry tasting (Sherry Week)
Regular readers will know I started an annual tradition of organizing a Sherry Twitter Tasting each year during Sherry Week. Now for Sherry Week 2020 I’ve decided to move away from this concept a little. Instead there will be a video stream with wine experts joining me live on Tuesday 3 November, starting 19:30 CET (UTC+1).
The theme this year is a bold “old versus new” comparison. I’ve selected three rare sherries bottled up to 50 years ago and paired them to recent counterparts. Bottle ageing is still a slightly controversial concept in the sherry world, but the idea of sherry having to be consumed as soon as possible is slowly changing. I have a collection of rare old bottles myself so I wanted to organize a round table session to discuss this theme and explore a couple of old bottles in different styles.
During the live stream I will be joined by César Saldaña, the president of the Consejo Regulador of the D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, as well as wine writer Sarah Jane Evans MW, elBulli sommelier Ferran Centelles and a number of wine bloggers who will discuss via online chat.
This is the full line-up:
- Barbadillo Manzanilla Solear En Rama: Saca Otoño 1999 vs. Otoño 2020
The same autumnal batch of this benchmark Manzanilla with 21 years between them. Solear En Rama was the first sherry to be bottled with hardly any filtering and the first to be released in seasonal batches. It was also one of the first to adopt magnum bottles, telling consumers this is a wine with ageing potential. I’m sure it will prove how nice a biologically aged sherry can evolve, so this is a real must-have for a tasting with bottle aged sherry.
- Osborne Oloroso Solera India: 1995 vs. 2020 edition
A sweet Oloroso from a solera that used to be shipped to Spain’s former South American colonies (“Las Indias”). It is a wine with a style called English at that time: a small dose of PX would be added to round off the edges. Solera India was part of the personal stocks of the Osborne family and until 1992 these wines were not commercialized. We’re trying one of the early commercial batches next to the recently rebranded wine of today.
- Gonzalez Byass Viña Dulce Nombre: 1960s vs. 2020 edition
Viña Dulce Nombre is a sweet sherry made from Palomino grapes, a winemaking tradition that is now almost entirely lost. It comes from Gonzalez Byass’ Viña Canariera in the pago Carrascal. I found a bottle from the mid 1950s – early 1960s. This would have been a fairly young wine at the time, but 50+ years of bottle ageing will have left their mark. We can taste it alongside a bottle of Viña Dulce released early this year after more than 30 years of (barrel) ageing as a vintage 1986 sherry (the last harvest this style was produced).
It should be interesting to witness the development of these rare and high-quality sherries, and see how they compare. Can we still discover their common DNA or has time changed them entirely?
Of course you’re invited to follow the live stream during Sherry Week, simply head over to the Facebook page of the Consejo Regulador. During the presentation you will be able to ask questions and interact with other sherry lovers via chat. Mark the date in your agenda.