Published on March 27th, 2022 | by Ruben0
Añada 1996 (Lustau 125 Aniversario)
For many years now Lustau produces an unconventional wine, made from Palomino grapes but with a sweet vinification. While very common in the past, it is now quite a unique wine in the sherry region. If you’re interested, you can read more about this concept and the production process in my article Lustau Añadas vertical tasting. Lustau has been bottling single vintage Oloroso wines since 1989. They belong to the Dulce category, known in the past as Oloroso Abocado.
This statically aged sweet wine represents the city of Jerez de la Frontera in the Anniversary Collection
In the 125th Anniversary box, which includes three wines never released before (at least not in this particular form), there is also the Vintage Sherry – Añada 1996. It was aged for 25 years in a static way (not in a solera), in barrels that were closed with a special seal of the Consejo Regulador which prevents producers to top up the wine – or even check how it is developing.
Oloroso is often sweetened by the addition of a little Pedro Ximénez, but in this case the añada sherry is only made with late-harvest Palomino grapes. The residual sugar is just above 200 g/l and the lenghty ageing made the ABV climb to 21%.
Lustau set aside 20 butts of young wine after the 1996 harvest. Now a selection of 8 butts is bottled for this release.
Vintage Sherry – Añada 1996 ‘125 Aniversario’ (21%, Lustau 2021, 2500 btl.)
Nose: really aromatic and rather volatile at first – quite a special vintage, apparently. There is a great layer of furniture polish and smooth leather, combined with juicy apricots, that I haven’t seen this clearly in other vintages. They mingle nicely with stewed plums and dates, as well as brighter notes of raspberry jam and redcurrant. Desserts with nectarine. In the background I find more spicy notes, like rose pepper and candied ginger. There are hints of candyfloss and aged balsamic vinegar as well.
Mouth: rich, sweet and spicy, but not without the quintessential acidity. There are hints of cinnamon, chocolate ganache with raspberry and black cherries. The sugar level is well balanced with spice and acids. Caramelized hazelnuts and golden raisins. It fades on liquorice, pear syrup from Liège and a hint of toasted wood.
Availability: this wine is only available as part of the 125th Anniversary pack. The case with three 50 cl bottles costs € 125, available from Lustau’s webshop or through distributors around the world.
Summary: Lustau has really outclassed itself in this 125 Aniversario selection. This Añada 1996 is another wonderful example of how they master the art of sweet Palomino vinification. It's very sweet but the innate fruity brightness and acidity make it fresh and utterly drinkable. Pretty fantastic.