Second tasting in as many weeks of sherries from Sanlucar de Barrameida, this time from the house of Hidalgo. Tasted Tuesday, 01 Nov 2011 in The Punter, Cambridge; tasting was hosted by Cambridge Wine Merchants and led by Javier Hidalgo himself. Sherries were accompanied by some tasty tapas-stlye food.
Sat next to Tom Lewis, The Cambridge Wine Blogger, his take on the evening can be found here.
La Gitana Manzanilla
This is the 'house' style Manzanilla by Hidalgo, accounts for a majority of their production and sales.
Fresh flor and green almonds; brine and iodine, some biscuit and yeasty notes too. On the palate its very clean and refreshing, cleansing acidity, vibrant and taut; even some citrus showing as well. Nice style, really cuts through the fairly lively tapas and holds its own.
Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana
More nutty, roasted (as opposed to green) almonds on the nose; olives too, some brine and iodine still. On the palate is has more presence, greater intensity of flavour; definitely more nutty, not green anymore. Settled, more mature, still vibrant acidity; there isnt as much flavour on the initial hit, but it has a more sustained mid palate; lasts longer than the basic Manzanilla.
Oloroso Abocado Alameda
Sweeter nose: raisins, caramel and toffee, fudge; again some varnish, with noticeable oxidative character. The sugar is noticeable, maybe on the 50-60g/l range; raisins and sultanas, with caramel; good presence but short on the finish.
Hidalgo 30yo 'Wellington' Palo Cortado
On the nose its full on nutty, roasted hazelnuts and almonds; burnt salted caramel, some coffee and dusted chocolate, raisins too; then the more developed nose of wood varnish and lacquer kicks in; serious complexity even on the nose. On the palate theres still plenty of vibrant acidity, even fruity (sultanas, bitter marmalade); astonishingly fresh and lively; sweet spices on the very very long finish. Mature, complex, truly a joy to drink.
Hidalgo 30yo 'Triana' Pedro Ximenez
Dark, almost inky black and according to a fellow taster has the consistency of used engine oil. On the nose theres golden syrup, caramel, treacle and bags of molasses; some coffee, demerara and dark chocolate too; almost overhwhelming really. On the palate its incredibly concentrated, intense and sugary, this hits 400g/l residual sugar; syrupy thick, it actually feels heavy on the palate; tastes like raisin juice; unctuous, decadent, very very long mocha flavoured finish. I poured some of this over the vanilla ice cream dessert and it still showed through.