Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry is produced in a variety of styles made primarily from the Palomino grape, ranging from light versions similar to white table wines, such as Manzanilla and Fino, to darker and heavier versions that have been allowed to oxidize as they age in barrel, such as Amontillado and Oloroso. Sweet dessert wines are also made from Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel grapes, and are sometimes blended with Palomino-based Sherries. Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands.
Madeira is produced in a variety of styles ranging from dry wines which can be consumed on their own as an aperitif, to sweet wines more usually consumed with dessert. The islands of Madeira have a long winemaking history, dating back to the Age of Exploration when Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies. To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. On the long sea voyages, the wines would be exposed to excessive heat and movement which transformed the flavor of the wine. This was discovered by the wine producers of Madeira when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine up to temperatures as high as 60 °C (140 °F) for an extended period of time and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation. Because of this unique process, Madeira is a very robust wine that can be quite long lived even after being opened.
- Item #: i_377773Bottle Size: 500mlClassic quality Sanlúcar nose with lots of saline maritime yeastiness and all the dry grassy herbal strawy, overripe apple notes one would expect, but this is serious with lots of acelaldehyde, gently oxidative and with slight almond notes. It smells very yeasty yet not particularly bitter as some of that is from the bottom of the butt and much more complex, and it would really like to become a natural Amontillado, only they keep refreshing it, almost monthly.Full and intense, dry and tangy, saline with a faintly rancio mineral note. It is virtually a Manzanilla Pasada with all the wonderful nuances that entails. Acidity is fairly low yet it is enough, along with a hint of bitterness, to balance beautifully with a trace of glycerine and that cabezuela character. It even has a modest texture giving it feel which adds a dimension to its great length. Superb.
- Item #: i_376831Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS-"The NV Fino en Rama Cruz Vieja is an unfiltered and un-fined Fino aged for an average of five to seven years under 'flor'. It has a textbook Fino nose of albariza soil, esparto grass, green olives and iodine, balanced and pungent. It has a medium-bodied palate with some volume and sweet green olive flavors. Only 1.260 bottles produced, which are for now sold in Spain and Japan."-12/14.
- Item #: i_357552Bottle Size: 375mlWine Advocate: 93**Please note, this is a half sized bottleWINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The pungent and marine NV La Bota de Manzanilla 55 is one new bottling of a Manzanilla from seven years of aging under flor in the Barrio Bajo in Sanlúcar, from the Sánchez Ayala winery with a really pungent aroma, the character of this particular winery, really high acetaldehyde, a sub-product of the biological aging, for me a textbook, pungent Manzanilla, that won't please the drinker of light, over filtered, industrial Manzanillas. The palate is medium-bodied with very intense, sharp flavors. This is ready to be enjoyed now, but it will develop a different personality in bottle, which you might like or not. 5,000 bottles were made."
La Bota de Manzanilla #55 has a really pungent aroma, the character of this particular winery, really high acetaldehyde, a sub-product of the biological aging, for me a textbook, pungent Manzanilla. The palate is medium-bodied with very intense, sharp flavors. This is ready to be enjoyed now, but it will develop a different personality in bottle. An unbeatable match on the dinner table, it excels with dishes from the Spanish seafood tradition: mackerel & potatoes, tuna stew, and boiled shellfish; international cuisine: toro sashimi, marinated herring, mussels; and especially with the spicy dishes of the Asian southeast. It has been bottled after only the slightest filtration in order to preserve its genuine character and its deep golden color with green hues as if straight from the butt. It is advisable to handle this Manzanilla with just as much care as any other great white wine. It should be served at about 9/11ºC in fairly large stemware, never in the cliché copita.
- Item #: i_376982Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One other thing that makes it apart from other Finos is that the grapes are exclusively from the high part of the Macharnudo vineyard, so this is a single-vineyard Fino. The nose is very complex, showing the effect of the long lees contact: chalk, dried hay, aromatic herbs and salty almonds. The palate is full, but at the same time elegant and balanced, powerful and fine, with the texture of a Meursault rather than a Puligny. A very complex wine, that manages to be both powerful and elegant. Inocente is great value for money. Drink 2013-2016."
WINE & SPIRITS 93 POINTS - "Top 100 Best Buys of 2011* Imagine the juice of salted almonds and you'll have an idea of the flavor of this complex Fino. That almond flavor is seasoned with sea salt notes and moderated by firm acidity that refrehses the substantial weight of the wine, while smoky aromas give it an extra touch of complexity. Inocente is a single vineyard within the famed pago Macharundo; before spending eight years under flor, it was fermented in barrels, a traditional practice now rare in Jerez.
- Item #: i_372543Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92A classic Manzanilla with very good depth, a fresh nose of sand and scrubland herbs that pleases the most adventurous of Sherry aficionados. Crisp and bracing acidity and notes of crushed sea shell cut through the wine's fleshy texture. Appropriate for salty first courses, peppery tapas, and of course, a round of Manchego. From vines growing in Jerez's famous white chalky soils, this wine fermented in stainless steel and spent over 5 years in a Solera in Sanlucar de Barrameda.
- Item #: i_376827Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS-"The NV Palo Cortado Viejo C.P. produced from Palomino from the Macharnudo Alto is feed with specific casks of Fino Inocente and Amontillado Tio Diego. It was traditionally aged in the Calle Ponce (Ponce Street), and if has kept the C.P. initials since then. It’s not age-certified, but the average age of the bottled wine is 25 years. The color is old gold or light amber, and the nose hints at a relatively old wine, with plenty of lactic notes, sweet vanilla, iodine, bitter oranges and spices. The palate is clean and delineated, subtle and on the elegant side of Palo Cortado, ending very dry. Drink 2013-2016. 8/13"
- Item #: i_376250Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The NV Tio Diego Amontillado Palomino from the Macharnudo vineyard, is fermented in botas, aged biologically for 10 years under flor in a solera separated from Inocente, and with a further five years of oxidative aging. It has a beautiful, perfumed nose of dry flowers, very elegant and clean, subtle, with some saline notes, both in the nose and the palate, where it is balanced, medium-bodied and elegant. A very fine Amontillado, showing superb value for a 15-year-old wine. Drink 2013-2019."