And the winner is...
Emilio Lustau Oloroso Dulce 1997
It is widely understood that great wines are made in the vineyard – yet Sherry is a rare exception.
This Oloroso proves the case that Sherry is the ultimate winemaker’s wine. While romance puts the quality of Sherry down to the quiet influence of the silent cellars and old oak barrels, it’s actually the capataz or cellar master, in this case Manuel Lozano, who is the key. This Oloroso shows his transformative power: the Palomino grape is the same one that produces ultra light dry finos and manzanillas.
Typically Sherry is a non-vintage wine, blended over time in a solera system. However, in this less usual case the wine is made from grapes from a single vintage, fermented to a desired level of sweetness, and then aged for well over a decade.
The result is a remarkable achievement – this is a rich wine, rather than a sweet one, rich in aroma, flavour, intensity and complexity. The trophy is only the tip of a remarkable iceberg for Lozano in the year’s Awards: 5 out of the 6 golds come from Lustau; plus another round dozen medals.
Nor is this a one-off: year after year Lozano wins medals worldwide. Lustau itself is part of a larger group – the Luis Caballero drinks business bought it in 1990, nearly a century after it was founded, and this in turn brought expansion. As a result in 2008 Lustau acquired the famous Sherries La Ina, Botaina, Río Viejo and Viña 25 from Domecq.
For lovers of the historic La Ina Fino, it’s future under Lozano is bright.
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Written by Sarah Jane Evans