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Valdespino Amontillado Pago de Macharnudo Tio Diego, Jerez Spain (75cl, 19%)


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Valdespino is one of the oldest bodegas in Jerez, with a history of Sherry production going back six centuries. Back in 1264, Alfonso Valdespino was one of 24 knights who fought against the Arabs for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X. As a reward for his efforts he was given land that formed the basis of the bodega. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family, who purchased the bodega in 1999.

Tio Diego ages under flor from the tenth up to the third criadera, when it is over 10 years. When passing from the third to the second, it is fortified again, up to 17,5% ABV. The flor dies and it ages oxidatively in the last three stages. That means the biological ageing period is much longer than in other Amontillados.

On the nose:rather wide and aromatic, with plenty of nutty notes (hazelnuts, almonds), caramel and hints of linseed oil. Quite rounded, even slightly buttery. Some bready notes. Still these (old) flor notes: hay, shrubland, sea breezes and hints of wet sheep, but obviously less punchy and less nervous than its Fino counterpart. A great balance of biological and oxidative hints, spot on.

Medium-bodied and very dry. Starts crisp, even slightly sharp for an Amontillado, close to the tangy character of the Fino Inocente, but it picks up nutty notes (almonds, walnuts) and hints of old barrels along the way. Fairly high acidity. Lemon zest. Mediterranean herbs, along with a slight bitterness and burnt almonds.

Try with anchovies on toast, paella or mushroom & truffle risotto, meatballs in tomato sauce, paté, pork scratchings, smoked duck, chestnuts, kidneys or roasted root veg


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