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Emilio Lustau, Sherry Dry Amontillado, “Los Arcos” NV

by Tim Elliott on February 16, 2011

Lustau Dry Amontillado bottleLike a lot of American wine lovers, Sherry is a personal blind spot. It’s not that I haven’t had good or great Sherry – in fact the only wine I have ever rated 100-points is a Sherry – it’s just the style is hard to get your head around.  For starters, many Sherries are intentionally oxidized to create a unique beverage that takes some getting used to. But the main problem, as I previously blogged this afternoon, is that freshness is an issue. And, unfortunately, this is the situation we have tonight with my selection for Wine Blogging Wednesday 70.

Emilio Lustau is one of the better Sherry houses and is widely available here. In fact, it’s the only major producer that I have not yet tasted making it perfect for this month’s theme to taste Spanish wines we have not yet tried. To top off the trifecta, I can’t remember if I have ever tasted an Amontillado, a type of Sherry made in the same way as Fino but then oxidized either intentionally or due to the flor yeast dying in the barrel. These days most Amontillado is made by fortifying the Fino to 18% alcohol which kills the flor yeast and then aged for 6 or more years. The resulting wine is both dry and savory combining the best of the fresh and salty Fino with the nuttiness of oxidation and further reduction in the solera. But as I posted earlier, there is a shelf-life to Amontillado of up to 3 years past the bottling date.

Tasting notes:

Emilio Lustau, Sherry Dry Amontillado, “Los Arcos” Solera Reserva NV ($17) – Tawny-copper in color with aromas of orange peel, almond and raisons. Pecan and toffee flavors finishing dry with cocoa on the finish but a bit dried out and overly oxidized even for a Sherry. Seems like it’s best days are behind it but still interesting. Bottled May 17, 2007.

18.5% ABV
T-cork closure
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Score: 82

Buy this wine online

adegga listing
CellarTracker note
Snooth listing

Thanks go out to Gabriella and Ryan Opaz from Catavino for hosting the revival of Wine Blogging Wednesday this month. And I will look to pick this very same wine up soon with a more recent bottling date to compare tasting note. Watch for the announcement of next month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday coming in the next couple weeks.

WBW logoIt’s been a long time since I’ve participated in Wine Blogging Wednesday, the monthly, worldwide virtual wine tasting started in 2004 by Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report blog. In fact it’s been over 2 years since I took part in WBW 52. But the event carried on for several more months until going on hiatus after WBW 69 this past May.

But the WBW train is starting up again with Ryan & Gabriella Opaz from Catavino hosting the 70th edition on February 16th. Consistent with their focus on Iberian wine, they have chosen a rather broad theme of any wine from Spain. Of course Spain makes a number of different styles of wine from the legendary reds of Rioja to the distinctive wines of Priorat to sparking wines and an entire world of Sherry. All the hosts ask is to post our notes by February 16th, tweet using the hashtag #wbw70 and email them a link to your post.

I’ll be podcasting again for this edition and already have an idea of what the wines will be. Join us if you can.

via Catavino