And the winner is...
Fernando de Castilla, Antique Amontillado,
Jerez, Spain NV (19%)
Nutty, menthol nose with fragrant orange and
linseed notes. Lively, elegant palate with fine texture
and a deliciously long finish. Benchmark old
UK: £21.48–£22.99/500ml; Han, Wai, WBr
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 singlehandedly. MD Jan Pettersen, half- Norwegian but with a long pedigree of working in the Sherry business, relaunched the old bodega and in the process revived the image of very fine old Sherry via the Antique range. Against the tradition of brown bottles, he packaged the range in clear 500ml glass. He avoided the more usual route of declaring an age for his Sherries of 20 or 30 years. Instead he chose his own definition of ‘Antique’ and allowed the resplendent colours of his Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado and PX to show their maturity. Yet despite this apparent iconoclasm, Pettersen is a true Sherry insider, locating barrels of fine Sherries fromacross the region to create the basis for his soleras. The outcome has been consistent excellence – with the range garlanded at the outset, and
consistently winning prizes.
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