Sherry Shorts: The Great Sherry Tasting 2017

The Great Sherry Tasting 2017 held in London in September was, to my mind at least, the best iteration yet. Here are a few highlights, quick hits and sherry shorts from the day:

En Magnum: Magnums of manzanilla have become popular in recent years, and Valdespino has got in on the act by releasing 600 magnums of Fino Inocente. Having also recently spotted a double magnum of Moscatel Toneles, I think we can safely say that the future is large.

Añada: Keeping with a Valdespino theme, the bodega presented their long awaited release of Macharnudo Single Cask Vintage 2000. Bottled as a Palo Cortado, this limited release has, along with the unfortified table wine Ojo de Gallo, added further welcome detours to the Macharnudo maze. In the UK and Ireland at least, the rarest statically aged vintage wines command a premium price, and with an RRP of £136 for a half bottle this is no different.

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For more wallet friendly añadas, you need look no further than Williams & Humbert. Oenologist Paola Medina was in London presenting the most recent releases – a 2007 Fino, 2003 Amontillado and 2001 Oloroso. The unusually juicy fino seemed more complete than my memory of the previously released 2009 fino and was perhaps the standout of the trio for me. The 2001 Oloroso was incredibly inviting showcasing the freshness and elegance that has been the hallmark of the oxidative releases.

Organic: While there have been rumblings that Williams & Humbert will be releasing their own organic fino next year, Delgado Zuleta’s Manzanilla Entusiástico continues to lead the way, improving with each release; the slightly overripe fruit character that was prominent previously seems much more integrated now and definitely makes this one to watch.

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The Magic of Sanlúcar: That was the only way Fran Asencio could explain the drinkability of his old single cask Amontillados, Palo Cortados and Olorosos. Together with his brother Fernando, he’s reviving old Pedro Romero soleras and releasing them under the Bodegas Alonso label. The opening trio of wines were excellent and would have me typing in superlatives (the amontillado in particular) had they not been tasted as a forerunners to a quite incredible quartet of older wines – Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Palo Cortado “Tu No Te Olvides” and Oloroso. Remarkable.

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