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Amontillado Amontillado En Rama - Criadera Selection - Barbadillo

Published on June 19th, 2024 | by Ruben

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Amontillado En Rama – Criadera Selection (Barbadillo)

Some of the younger stages in a solera can hold outstanding versions of the same wine

We’ve all learned that mature wine is bottled from the bottom row of a solera system (also called the solera row). However that’s not always the case. Especially if we’re talking about long aged wines, then the younger criaderas may already contain a wonderfully interesting wine. That is the idea behind the new Criadera Selection range from Bodegas Barbadillo.

When visiting sherry bodegas, I often encourage people to bottle criaderas. For instance I think the Amontillado VORS from Tradición is spectacular at an age of +/- 18-20 years. A lot of soleras deserve to be presented at additional ages in my opinion. On the other hand I understand widening ranges and adding new versions is perhaps not the best market strategy. Anyway, we’re diverting…

 

Barbadillo Criadera Selection

 

Bodega Mil Pesetas

The Criadera Selection series contains this Amontillado, as well as a Palo Cortado and Oloroso. All three are bottled en rama, with minimal filtering. The wine itself comes from family soleras in the Mil Pesetas cellar. It is one of many warehouses in a large complex dating back to the 1700s. Built in the Mudejar style in the historic San Blas neighborhood, it was refurbished by Barbadillo back in 1920.

Amontillado Principe

Nowadays the bodega primarily holds the soleras of Amontillado Principe and Palo Cortado Obispo Gascón. What we’re having here, is a version of Amontillado Principe that is said to be around 10 years of age. Even though Armando Guerra of Barbadillo claims it is an underestimation. Let’s not forget the classic Principe 12 Years is also closer to 15 years of age in reality, but in sherry you’re only allowed to use strict age statements. The flor disappears after 8 years in this Amontillado, so the oxidative period should be second fiddle in this wine.

 

Bodega Mil Pesetas

The Mil Pesetas cellar close to the Castillo San Diego

 

Amontillado En Rama – Criadera Selection (19%, Barbadillo, L24-068)

Nose: a lovely tension between the flor influence (of a Manzanilla Pasada) and the roundness of Amontillado. Lovely hay and subtle stable aromas (wet fur). Whiffs of iodine and salty sea breeze. Orange peels and citrus. Then it goes towards caramel notes, plenty of sweet almonds, pecan pie and hints of dried apricot. A beautiful touch of varnish as well – always a bonus in my book. Quite a stunning nose, which catapults me back to Sanlúcar.

Mouth: very fresh and elegant, with a slightly thin structure. In any case very faithful to its Manzanilla origins. Big salinity (licking the inside of an oyster shell), with citrus acidity and a nice bitter edge. More biased towards the sharper biological character than its 12 yo sister. On the other thand there is some caramelized sugar and lots of walnuts, as well as a hint of raw mushroom. Long, saline finish.

Availability: around € 22. At the moment I can only find it in the UK – check The Whisky Exchange. It isn’t even mentioned in Barbadillo’s online shop.

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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 www.whiskynotes.be



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