A fine rare wine, which combines the pure tangy nuttiness of Amontillado with the smooth smoky richness of Oloroso in an elegant complex style.
One of the most exceptional of the small, independent sherry houses, Fernando de Castilla was revitalised in 1999 by Jan Pettersen - a Norwegian with a passion for top quality sherry, and 15 years experience at Osborne. After taking over the cellars of the Sherry shipper Jose Bustamante, located next door to the main facilities of Fernando de Castilla, Jan quickly established Fernando de Castilla as masters of the production and ageing of fine, unblended, untreated Sherries. The bodega's reputation is based on the excellence of the Antique range of intensely pure and complex single solera Sherries whose award winning packaging makes them even more impressive. The Antique Palo Cortado was awarded 'Best Dry Fortified Trophy' at the 2011 New Wave Spanish Wine Awards, whilst the Antique Amontillado scooped the trophy for ‘Dry Fortified over £10’ at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Grapes are sourced from Fernando de Castilla's partners vineyards in the Jerez district. The soil type is Albariza. Picking takes place in early September.
Palo Cortado is a rare variety of sherry that is initially aged under flor to become a fino or amontillado, but inexplicably loses its veil of flor and begins aging oxidatively as an oloroso. The result is a wine with some of the richness of oloroso and some of the crispness of amontillado. Only about 1-2% of the grapes pressed for sherry naturally develop into palo cortado. The name means 'cut stick,' in reference to the mark made on the cask when this style of wine is recognized. Since the wine was originally destined to be a fino or amontillado, it will initially have had a single stroke marked on the cask. When the cellar master realises that the wine is becoming a palo cortado, he draws a cross (or cut) through the initial stroke (or stick), resulting in a crossed stroke or 'cut stick' (/). At this time the wine will be fortified to about 20% abv, to prevent spoilage from contact with the air and ageing continued separately from its original solera. This sherry is on average 20 years old.
This Palo Cortado is the perfect companion to cured hard cheeses such as Manchego or Parmesan.
"This 30-year-old ginger and caramelised nut-flavoured palo cortado gives plenty of bang for its buck. Zippy-fresh to start, it softens into mellow toffee beautifully." Jane Parkinson, Restaurant magazine, October 2015
"What to choose from this bodega? Each of its Antique wines has won trophies at DWWA. I'll choose the palo cortado for its stunning elegance; despite its 30+ years, it shows fine balance." Sarah Jane Evans MW, Expert's Choice, Decanter magazine, November 2014
"Gloriously seductive on the nose, stunning on the palate with amazing length. Fifty Shades of Grey in Spain,' said a happy Kate Hawkings of Bell's Diner. ‘Pale orange/copper colour, with a glorious nose, the essence of sherry,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, continuing: ‘Delicately nutty and oxidised, with brisk, tight grip, dry with orangey highlights. Very exciting.’ ‘Full, generous nose, fresh, complex, clean, long and vibrant on the palate, agreed Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison" Sommelier Wine Awards 2015, Judges Comments
"Honeyed quince, spicy wood and creamy aromas and a tangy palate backed by rich fruit." Judges comments, DWWA 2013
"A dry piercing style, with a lovely orange blossom note that gives way quickly to sea salt, dried orange peel, walnut, bitter almond and cardamom accents. This offers a bright brisk finish. Drink now. 92 Points." James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, October 2013
" ... has a clean, changing, lifted nose of white chocolate, orange marmalade, almonds and incense, while the balanced palate comes through quite intense, sharp, with good acidity and length. 93 points." Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate #208, 29th August 2013
" 'An excellent example and a good match for seafood,' said Jenny Mackenzie of The Plough Inn, noting the sherry's 'elegant style, with its hints of polish, nutty complexity and tangy edge'. 'Taut, grippy and balanced, this is lovely, fragrant and supple,' said team leader Simon Woods." Sommelier Wine Awards 2013, Judges Comments
"Elegant, lifted aromas of aged flor and raisin, opening onto a palate of harmony, spice and layered balance. A truly haunting and bewitching wine"; "Another year, another International Trophy for Fernando de Castilla. What a reputation this bodega is forging for itself. Last year it was its Amontillado that wowed our judges; this time around, the Palo Cortado has repeated the trick with aplomb." Judges Comments, Decanter World Wine Awards 2010
"Roasted hazelnuts mix nicely with buttery vanilla notes and butterscotch. A superbly harmonious blend of caramel, salt and acidity on an intense palate. 'Spicy, nutty, rich and warm' said Gearoid Devaney." "Fernando de Castilla ....has been stunning tasters at this event for the past three years, and its haul of three Golds was testament to the brilliance of its portfolio" Sommelier Wine Awards 2010, Judges comments
"Attractive spicebox and slivered almond nuances. The finish is intense and very long, with warm tree bark scents."' IWC 2004, Judges Comments
"A rare style of sherry has won Best Wine of Show at this year's New Wave Spanish Wine Awards. Antique Palo Cortado from producer Fernando de Castilla was described by Peter McCombie MW as 'rich and heady with alluring complex aromas of roasted nuts, chocolate, toffee and lanolin. Gloriously rich and smooth yet quite dry'. The Palo Cortado also won a trophy for Best Dry Sherry." OLN, 3rd July 2009
"is medium amber coloured, very complex aromatically, with excellent concentration and length. If you are interested in high quality, luxury Sherries, this is a good place to start. 92 points." The Wine Advocate, Issue 175, 29th February 2008
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