Further adventures in Sherry now, with two tasting notes for the price of one. The following two wines come from Cayetano del Pino, and are bottled by Romate. Both are under screwcap and – not that it really matters, but I can’t help admiring them – are blessed with the most brilliant labels. The wine inside the bottle is also tip-top of course. Both are available from The Wine Society in the UK, although the links should guide readers outside the UK to their nearest stockists.
Cayetano del Pino Fino Perdido 1/15: Under screwcap. Helpfully described as a “lost fino“, which gives a good clue as to the story behind this wine. Having begun life as a fino, covered in a protective layer of flor, this wine was left for eight years before bottling. This is much longer than would be the norm with the fino style, which would usually be bottled early, and then shipped and consumed within as short a time as possible. Here, during the eight years of repose, the flor died, and the wine took on some oxidative character. The colour has deepened, but only to a rich golden hue, and nothing darker, despite other reports I have seen and despite the wine having been described in some quarters as a fino-amontillado, which it definitely isn’t. The nose is very pungent at first, rich with acetylaldehyde which may of course reflect the work of the flor, or of oxygen. It feels like dry wood at first, but later shows some leesy-cheesy richness from the flor, and also some sour-fruit character. The palate has a very good presence, with the woody oxidative notes quite prominent at first, but they soon fade leaving more appealing nutty elements, and hints of green olive and pepper. It has a good harmony, is fleshy but dry, with good acids, and it really rounds off in the finish in a harmonious fashion. Overall this is long and appealing, especially returning to it for subsequent glasses when the woody character subsided further. 16/20 (March 2013)
Cayetano del Pino Palo Cortado Viejísimo 1/5: From a half bottle, under screwcap. The first obvious feature worth noting here is in the colour, which is an impressively concentrated golden-amber hue, with a faint greenish tinge at the rim. The nose is immediately enthralling, rich and expressive. There are scents of vanilla, coffee, caramel, roasted oranges and sandalwood, along with a subtle vein of acetylaldehyde which runs very much in the background. It has a full and confident character, and this is confirmed on the palate which has a wonderful, weighty substance for a palo cortado, and yet it retains a sense of the silky elegance that can be found in this style. It maintains a very fine cottony texture through the middle, with very polished edges and a fine frame of acidity. Suddenly on the end of the palate this all wells up, giving the wine an exciting, turbo-charged finish, flavoursome but more importantly full of energy and vigour. The vanilla and peppercorn notes sound like a trumpet, slowly fading, as the finish goes on and on. Just a little note of dry wood here disrupts the overall harmony, but otherwise this is an impressive show indeed. Truly excellent. 18/20 (March 2013)