Browse Tag


Go for the gold

[dorado]Gómez Nevado Sierra Moreno “Dorado” Seco (Andalucía) — Acid-washed razors in sun-parched sand. All diagonals and slashing wounds. Punishingly brilliant. (4/16)

Walking bare

Equipo Navazos La Bota de Fino Macharnudo Alto “18”(Jerez) – Overwhelming almonds. Dry, dry, dry, and dry with a side of dry. Extremely long. Rather a slap upside the context; this is a wine that exceeds most of its potential frames. (11/11)

Equipo Navazos La Bota de Fino Macharnudo Alto “15” (Jerez) – Like drinking upholstery. This is much more restrained and muddled than an 18 consumed on the same night, and suffers for it; were it allowed its own spotlight, matters might be different. But at this moment, it’s muffled and insufficient. (11/11)

One candle short

Equipo Navazos “La Bota de Fino 15” (Jerez) – Complex. Deep. Really extraordinary. I tend to think of fino – talking the mass of it here, not just the finest examples – as mostly linear, but this is all polygons and helixes, and there’s more to find in every glass. (8/11)

The difference between Loveau and Lustau

Lustau “East India Solera” Sherry (Jerez) – Very, very, very sweet. No surprise there. Sticky nuts, caramelized and ensyruped, taking on the character of liquid toffee. What more is there to say? You either want something like this or you don’t. (4/10)


Lepanto Pedro Ximénez Brandy de Jerez “Solera Gran Reserva” (Jerez) – Like a hotter, drier version of the (in)famous wine, a mix of caramels and sugars with a spiced finish churned over stones. Interesting, though I think I prefer my brandies a little less overtly sweet. (10/06)


[bottle]Lustau “East India Solera” Sherry (Jerez) – Not as powerfully sweet as the initial whack of molten brown sugar suggests, perhaps because a thin acidity and faint haze of oxidation combat the syrup. That said, it’s still a very sweet wine…a brown sweetness that bridges the shoulder between the leafy decay of fall and the woodsmoke of a winter fireplace. Though to be honest, it’s less interesting than that. (7/09)

Gallina milk

[label]Lustau “Almacenista” Oloroso Pata de Gallina “Juan Garcia Jarana” 1/38 (Jerez) – Rich brown spices tinged with molasses, slow-baked stone fruit, fuzzy earth tones, and a certain gelatinousness. The wine comes in rolling waves, but those of a receding tide; the spaces in between are a little bare, leaving only a thick film of sweetness in their wake. I’ve always said that I appreciate sweeter styles of oloroso, and this is quite good (albeit probably not quite worth its tariff), but it would be better with a little less covering sugar. (4/09)

The Master

[label]El Maestro Sierra Oloroso Sherry “15 años” (Jerez) – Frankly, this is a difficult wine for me, and I’m not sure I can do it justice. Intense almond aromas – but more the shells and skins than the sweeter nuts within – and the usual arid, almost-mold-but-more-ancient-than-that, topnote, but with more space and singularity than I’m used to. Then, a stark dryness that tastes…well, it tastes like a decaying building. I suppose that doesn’t make much sense, but try to think what the Acropolis might taste like, were it to suddenly become consumable rather than viewable. Absolutely planar throughout, and eventually I begin to suspect that the wine’s finish doesn’t ever actually end, but just continues to some sort of infinitely-distant asymptote. An extremely intellectual sherry. I think it might be terrific. I’m not sure I like it. Obviously, I need someone to explain it to me, and then we’ll see. Or not. (12/08)

Roman Colosía

Guitiérrez Colosía “Elcano” Fino Sherry (Jerez) – From 375 ml. Very, very fresh-tasting, in a way that almost transports me to Spain. That said, I’m not entirely sure what I’m tasting. Bony and yet overly affable, like a skeletal puppy leaping at one’s palate, there’s an upfront intensity paired with an airy hollowness that I can’t quite wrap my head around. (12/08)

Dutch trading companies

[bottle]Lustau “East India Solera” Sherry (Jerez) – Very sweet, molasses and maple with heat-concentrated brown sugar but a fairly uninteresting finish of simplistic sweetness. (5/08)

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