Alexander Jules Amontillado 3/10
Alexander Jules are an import company based here in California. Although they import Spanish wine and cider, the speciality is select sherries. Founder Alex Russan travels to Jerez and tastes through different solera systems, selecting and blending barrels for quality and style. The result is a range of sherries that are individual in character but consistent in quality.
This amontillado is particularly select. For a start, it all comes from one vineyard, highlighting the relevance of terroir to sherry - something, given the influence production methods have over the style of sherry, which is too often overlooked. It's called 3/10, because the wine comes from just three barrels taken from a small ten-barrel solera, located in La Playa de la Red Bodega in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Coming from Sanlúcar means that the wine began life as a manzanilla, a particularly fresh style of fino that can only be made in that seaside town. This amontillado, which gains a deeper colour once oxidative ageing begins, certainly retains that refreshing lift and it's not as heavy as some amontillados can be. There are lively aromas of orange peel and spices, with some toffee and richness coming from the oxidative ageing. This is a sensational, serious, but engaging amontillado.
Vintage: NV. The average age is 18 years old.
Grape Variety: Palomino Fino
Food pairing: anything spicy; fish; chicken; cured meat; hard cheese; nuts. Endless possibilities which is what makes this wine so good!