A very serious and austere sherry with the classic greenish amber tint, typical of aged amontillados of a rich golden colour. There is a real tang to both nose and palate with orange peel, eucalyptus, varnished wood, fennel and a myriad of other flavours and sensations singing subdued screams against the background canvas of stark dryness and tense acidity defeated by the overwhelming complexities - a really sublime wine.
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.
Fernando de Castilla deals only in prestigious, premium wines. The sherries are all from individual soleras. They are bottled without blending, cold stabilization or filtration of any kind in order to preserve the subtlety, purity and distinctive aromas of these premium wines. The products are all bottled in clear glass to show off the wonderful colour of the wines. Fernando de Castilla Antique Amontillado comes from a very old Fino (8 yrs old) which is refortified from 15.5% to 18.0% ABV and introduced into a solera of Amontillado where it spends a further 12 years.
Ideal with consomme, hard cheeses or tapas dishes such as oxtail or chorizo sausage. Highly recommended with chicken liver parfait!
"Fresh and salty, with almond, toffee and apple aromas" "Lean, savoury and very spicy"
Sommelier Wine Awards 2014, Judges Comments
"Roasted chestnut, cocoa and woody coconut aromas. Aristocratic and multidimensional palate offering a moreish salty caramel quality with a tangy spritz. Superlative in any way."
Judges comments, DWWA 2013
"A dry, nervy style, offering balsam wood, clove, dried orange peel and Brazil nut notes that weave together through the lacy finish. Shows range, but stays delicate in feel overall. Drink now. 91 Points."
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator October 2013
" ...amber-colored and has a subtle nose of tobacco, some iodine, pollen, beeswax and hazelnuts. The medium- to full-bodied palate shows lots of concentration and acidity, with a very intense finish. 92 points."
Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate #208, 29th August 2013
"Twice DWWA Trophy winner. Aromas of roasted chestnuts, walnuts, even cranberries. Vivid, mouthwatering, bone-dry and long. The ideal equilibrium between fino and oloroso. 93/100."
Sarah Jane Evans MW, Decanter, December 2012
"If you only drink one Sherry this Christmas, make it this award-winning Amontillado - nutty and pungent. Very good with Boxing Day cold meats and hard cheeses."
Sarah Jane Evans MW, BBC Good Food magazine, December 2012
"Simultaneously waxy and smoky, and redolent of bonfires and toffee apples at the same time, this well balanced wine is the embodiment of the word 'complex. Perfectly poised between flavours of salty nuts and honey and malt, as only a great amontillado can do, while Madison's Irina Atanasova was uncovering the caramel and dried fruits, consultant Peter McCombie MW was finding biscuits and orange peel on the relatively dry palate. Price quoted is for 50cl bottle."
Sommelier Wine Awards 2012
"Marking the third successive year that this bodega has won this Trophy (and twice for this Amontillado) Fernando de Castilla is swiftly forging a reputation as one of Sherry's modern-day superstars. For a young company, Fernando de Castilla has achieved remarkable things, in a short time, overturning the negative image of Amontillado almost single-handedly."
Decanter, October 2011
"Aromatic, almost perfumed floral background with some spice. Unusual style with lots of citrus, made in an austere style. Delicious, specific and unique."
Decanter Dry Sherry Panel Tasting, January 2011
"Caramel, nutty flavours, beautiful length and texture and superbly clean finish. It was chosen by Hamish Anderson in the wine pairing seminar to go with a chicken-liver parfait, and it was one of the best matches I've ever tasted. The flavours of the food and wine kept going together without outdoing each other, making me want more and more. Great pairing."
Sara Bachiorri, Sommelier at The Glasshouse, Imbibe, September/October 2010
"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
"is medium to dark amber with nutty, dried fruit, and orange peel aromas. It offers excellent intensity. 92 points."
The Wine Advocate Issue 175, 29th February 2008
"18. Drink 2008-12. Lustrous amber. Round, almost soft and very rich on the nose but lovely freshness on the palate. Softened. About 20 years old. Great stuff."
www.jancisrobinson.com June 2008
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