Venerable PX (1902) VORS
Osborne is one of the classical names in Puerto de Santa Maria, one of the greatest names in the history of Sherry, Brandy, and the iconic silhouette of the huge black bull that truffles the Spanish roads id one of the stereotypical images of the Spain of the 70s and 80s. The venerable history was initiated by Englishman Thomas Osborne, who started shipping his Sherries in 1804. The Venerable solera is the most recent of the four VORS wines from Osborne, dating from 1902. It is made entirely out of ancient stocks of Pedro Ximenez wine. The grapes were all dried on mats to raisined state before tiny amounts of ultra sweet juice were pressed from them. After a few generations of ageing a miniscule amount of this essence is produced at 45% residual sugar. Despite the huge amount of sweetness it is still a balanced, drinkable and extremely complex wine. These old wines have been beautifully looked after the Osborne family, despite their lack of real profitability. They could never be sold for their real value, but help give prestige to the Osborne bodega and Sherry in general.
RATING HISTORY: 92 WA & "Year's Best Sherry" by W&S Magazine
GRAPE: 100% Pedro Ximenez. Vines tended in albariza soil at 379 m (1,243 ft) elevation from the Montilla pago.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Pedro Ximenez on the other hand is almost always a good match for non-fruity ice creams, particularly vanilla, caramel, brown bread ice cream and chocolate. It's the sweetest of Spanish sherries with an intense raisiny flavour and can simply be poured over ice cream or sipped with it.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: It is made entirely out of ancient stocks of Pedro Ximenez wine. The grapes were all dried on mats to raisined state before tiny amounts of ultra sweet juice were pressed from them. After a few generations of ageing a miniscule amount of this essence is produced at 45% residual sugar. RS = 450 g/L
PRODUCTION: 271 cases (3 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: Montilla Moriles is a semi-continental mediterranean climate with long, hot, dry summers and short winters. The mean maximum temperature is about 26C (79F) and the mean minimum temperature is about 12C (54F). There is about 2,800 to 3,000 hours of effective sunlight per annum, and rainfall is between 500 mm and 1000 mm (20 to 39 in) per annum. The vineyards of the DO are at an altitude of between 125 m and 600 mm (410 and 1969 ft) above sea level.
TASTING NOTES: The NV Venerable Pedro Ximenez is produced from sun-dried Pedro Ximenez grapes aged in a solera created in 1902 for an average of 30 years. It is dark, opaque mahogany color, and a distinct nose with a lactic and toasted note of toffee and cappuccino coffee that stands it apart from others. The wine is dense and concentrated, very sweet and low in acidity, with a long aftertaste of dark chocolate and dried figs. Notes by Luis Gutierrez. This is so dense and concentrated it feels like you could spread it with a knife. But put the texture aside for a moment and consider the tremendous complexity of the aroma: notes of figs, chestnuts, moist earth and caramelized nuts. Whatever you imagine, this vino-postre has it. One of a collection of rarities from Osborne, this comes from a solera established in 1902. Notes by Patricio Tapia
All photos: Friederike Paetzold