“If I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be to forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.” (Henry IV, Part One). Thus, Falstaff did opine his view on “good sherris-sack” – and we were inclined to agree – after the tasting of these two Palo Cortados.
It was great fun doing a comparative tasting of PCs – an unusual sherry by virtue that it has ‘gone wrong’ and stopped developing as a fino i.e. under a protective flor of yeast and has moved towards an oloroso, maturing via oxidisation. (That’s the technical bit).
We tasted and compared the La Bota di Palo Cortado 21 (20.5% ABV) and the Gonzalez Byass Apostoles Muy Viejo 30 (20% ABV), hereafter known as LB and GBA.
The colours were old gold, deep honey for the LB whilst the GBA was deep tan with red tones. Both were clear but the GBA had more pronounced windows.
The nose of both wines suggested some acidity but the LB was more forward than the more subtle GBA. The former suggested salty caramel whilst, as the GBA developed in the glass it became more raisiny and had a richer aroma.
The palates of both were wonderful but quite different. The LB was very slightly off-dry with great length and refreshing acidity whilst GBA was more tangy and weightier in the mouth, yet still off-dry and not cloying, despite its appearance. We both thought the LB a more complex mouthful; Richard stating it was the driest Palo Cortado he’d ever drunk. This dryness might be the reason for the slightly higher alcohol level of LB.
The wines went beautifully with olives and smoked air-dried ham. Both were excellent drinks. After this, we can empathise with Falstaff’s views.
[Richard: not sure where the LB came from or the price. Around £30 I would guess, possibly from Gauntleys. However Equipo Navazos wines have really shot up in price (the LB is now nearly £50 here) so I can’t see that I’ll buy anymore. Not that they are easy to find. The GBA was a birthday present from Geoff.
Angie, trying the wines later in the evening, preferred the GBA and also noted the raisiny aroma.]