Amontillado Sherry

To record tasting notes and thoughts on fortified wines we might try which do not come from the demarcated region of the Douro Valley
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JacobH
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Amontillado Sherry

Post by JacobH »

Work takes me, at the last minute, on a long-distance train. The only shop offering wine near the station is an M&S. The only Port is the M&S Ruby Port in its clear glass “decanter”. I’ve drunk this a bit before. It is fine but not very appealing to me. I therefore look for other options. The only table wines I would like are in corked bottles and, somehow during COVID, I managed to lose my keyring corkscrew. None of them look pretty inspiring in any event. So, sherry it is. The choices are the Cream Sherry or the Amontillado Medium Dry Sherry, produced by Williams & Humbert. The former sounds horrendous, so I go for the latter.

The colour is pleasing: a deep amber. The nose is probably fine, although a plastic cup may not be the optimal vessel for tasting it. The mouth is curious. On the one hand, I can sense some nice, aged sherry with a hint of hazelnuts. Not very complex but not unattractive. On the other, the sweetness of this Amontillado is incredible. I presume they have added grape must to it and there is that direct sweet flavour one might expect from drinking, well, grape-juice. The sensation is, I suppose, a bit like a Pineau des Charentes (a French drink that I quite like made by mixing grape juice and Cognac).

Trying to be objective: this is not great wine. However, it is an acceptable alcopop. There is nothing unpleasant about it, as one sometimes gets with super cheap Ports (e.g. too much spirit or not enough acidity to balance the sweetness). I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t be economical to make this (it was c£9 a bottle) but then, I also think it shouldn’t make any commercial sense to blend the Amontillado base wines with so much sugary must.

Am I please with buying it? Yes. Has it given me more pleasure than some M&S screwtop table-wine? Yes. Would I buy it again? Almost certainly not. Probably the Ruby in a decanter next time...
Last edited by JacobH on 21:16 Tue 18 Oct 2022, edited 1 time in total.
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JacobH
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Re: Amontillado Sherry

Post by JacobH »

On returning home, I feel like comparing the M&S sherry to something a bit better. I open a bottle of González Byass’ Amontillado “Del Duque” VORS (and change the subject of this thread!). This GB has an average age of over 30 years. The solera was apparently established in 1857 and is fed with González Byass’ entry-level Amontillado, the “Viña AB”.

The colour is a measure deeper and browner than the sherry. The nose has good complexity. The mouth is interesting with a surprising amount of sweetness layered over some woody-complexity. Perhaps a touch of umami as well. Decent length of aftertaste.

I don’t drink much sherry, beyond fino / manzanilla, but this is really quite nice as a change of scene. Also, £25ish for a half-bottle, it seems reasonably good value to me too for the level of complexity. I imagine this is an unsurprising, conventional choice for a sherry connoisseur but would still recommend it.
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nac
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Re: Amontillado Sherry

Post by nac »

JacobH wrote: 09:35 Fri 21 Oct 2022 I imagine this is an unsurprising, conventional choice for a sherry connoisseur but would still recommend it.
I drink a fair amount of Sherry and whilst not a connoisseur I can confirm that the Del Duque is top quality stuff and far from being an everyday drinker.
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mosesbotbol
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Re: Amontillado Sherry

Post by mosesbotbol »

I am casual fan of Amontillado and Oloroso. Whenever I see a deal on either from Lustau or reminded somehow I need some; I buy it. Lasts longer in the fridge the port, can cook with it more than port. Port and sherry are too far apart for me to consider them competing for my attention.
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