Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tasting Notes: Sherry

Brad Post:

Sherry Tasting Notes: Each week I make an effort to keep an open mind to the varietals I am about to taste. This week I struggled to get past all of the Sherry horror stories told to me throughout my adult life. Surely this richly hued wine couldn’t be all that bad…

1. Sherry, Fairbanks (CA). Source: Fareway, Cost: $4.99
The familiar green label of Fairbanks Sherry bottle had dust on the shoulders of its clear-green bottle, an indication of the lack of attention given to the bottom of the bottom-shelf fortified spirits. Warm amber hued, with some degree of rim variation, this wine possessed a noticeably high amount of alcohol as evinced by long, silky legs coating the glass interior. Potently aromatic with hefty amounts of honey and butterscotch up front, while suggestions of anise and hazelnut lingered. The somewhat initial pleasantries were quickly dissipated upon first sip! Immediately I was taken aback by a very harsh and bitter, an almost antiseptic quality initially, followed by a lingering burning sensation throughout my mouth. Unpleasant. Bitter qualities gave way to a slight grassiness post-swallow. My face contorted as a result of the strong, bitter and ghastly nature of this awful product.

2. Sherry, Lustau Solera Reserva, Dry-Oloroso, "Don Nuño". Source: Johns Grocery (I.C.), Cost: $16.99.
Gorgeously tinted to a dark root beer and trending to light amber along the rim. Despite Sherry #1 (above), I was hopeful this Sherry, made in Spain following the Solera tradition, would yield something remarkable. If the first Sherry was a powerhouse of aromas, this Sherry was the antithesis, subtle scents of butter rum, nuts, and anise. Nice. Don Nuño clobbered me, metaphorically, in my taste buds: blasts of cherry, orange, quickly led to a nutty combo of mouth-puckering bitterness followed shortly thereafter by a high-octane explosion of lingering heat. My dry Sherry was remarkable – remarkably terrible.

After we rinsed our palate with crackers and water we opened a bottle of Coppola Tempranillo (2007)...but that's another story!

Happy Tastings,

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