Last week we had our house decorated so I drank a bit more wine than my usual weekly quota. Although we didn't actually decorate ourselves, it was still chaotic. True to style, we left all the pre decorating prep to the afternoon before which was pretty hellish with two small children. However, the sun is shining, we survived the week and it's been totally worth it!
It must have been stressful though as I was drinking 19% abv Sherry.......
Torre del Oro, Palo Cortado Sherry
Where to buy; Waitrose, £11.49 per bottle (75cl)
Waitrose have teamed up with top sherry bodega, Lustau, to produce a superb range of sherries. This one is their Palo Cortado which is a bit of a funny one as it's a style that is sort of produced by accident. There are several styles of sherry; Fino and Manzanilla are light styles that age under a layer of yeast called 'Flor' - this means that no oxygen can affect the wine during its ageing process so they remain a lovely light colour with almondy and yeasty notes and are always bone dry. Then we have the darker styles of sherry that have been allowed to oxidise during ageing (no flor) and take on wonderfully rich and nutty notes; Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso. The Amontillado and Palo Cortado both start life as a Fino with flor so have that wonderful yeasty note, an Oloroso is aged oxidatively from the start so is much richer, nuttier and intense.
Palo Cortados are a pretty rare style of sherry due to the fact they are really allowed to develop by accident, something in the flor changes and they naturally start to oxidise, unlike Amontillados which although start as Fino's are really always destined to become Amontillados by the winemaker.
Sherry is a wine that is making a serious comeback and quite rightly so. There is no other wine in the world produced from one single grape variety - Palomino - that can produce such a vast range of styles and complexities. All sherry is aged in a unique system called the Solera system which is a way of blending, so actually when you drink any sherry, you are in fact drinking a blend of wines that are more than likely decades old. Pretty amazing stuff.
At £11.49 a bottle this Palo Cortado is serious value with some incredible winemaking poured into the bottle. It's so good! A gorgeous amber colour, bone dry, rich and intense with nutty, dried fruits, mocha and an undertone of salt and yeast, this is delicious with cheese, nuts, tapas, light meat and rice dishes and simply on its own. Go on....it's really not just for grannies!