Sibarita Oloroso (1792) VORS
The Sibarita Oloroso solera was founded in 1792 and is composed of 106 barrels. Only 1.5% of the wine is drawn from each barrel annually, bottling 206 cases of 3 bottles each for the world. Unquestionably, the Sibarita solera is one of the most famous and oldest soleras of Jerez. While sold as a VORS (guaranteed minimum age of 30 years), it is at least twice that age. Despite their lack of real profitability, these old wines have been lovingly looked after by the Osborne family. The wines could never be sold for their real value, but help give prestige to the Osborne bodega, and to the sherry category in general. The word 'Sibarita' comes from ‘Sybarite’, meaning a person who dedicates time to finding and enjoying the pleasure of good food and good wines. The Sibarita Oloroso has been blended with less than 1% of Pedro Ximénez (a sweet wine made from dried grapes), leaving it with an almost imperceptible amount of residual sugar (2%). This stunning sherry has ultimate power, precision and boundless complexity. The tang of ancient dry Oloroso stocks blends beautifully with the roundness of the Pedro Ximénez, creating a rich, dry-finishing sherry.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? A unique blend of old soleras dating back to 1792 combining Palomino and Pedro Ximénez from its foundation. Extremely limited production displaying a rich, yet dry, texture that is rare to find. Also of note, the very small amount of Pedro Ximénez added by the winemaker long ago is not continuously added. This was a one time addition.
RATING HISTORY: 95 Decanter; 94 WA; "Year's Best Sherry" W&S Magazine
GRAPE: 99% Palomino, <1% Pedro Ximénez. Vines tended in albariza soil at 70 m (230 ft) elevation from the Macharnudo pago
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: The fullness of Oloroso pairs best with well-textured and fatty foods. Dishes that incorporate figs, dates, maple syrup, chocolate and soy sauce. A curried dish works very well, as would a dish made with vanilla, walnuts, almonds or coconut.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: 30 years of age at bottling (on average) from 4 criaderas founded in 1792. RS = 0 g/L
PRODUCTION: 279 cases (3 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: Vines tended in albariza soil at 70 m (230 ft) elevation. With averages highs of 22 C (72 F) and lows of 13 C (56 F). There are an impressive 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and the summers are glorious. Most of the 584 mm (23 in) of annual rainfall occurs from September through December. All the vines are within the Pago Macharnudo territory, located towards the interior of Jerez. This area produces riper Palomino grapes, making them more suitable for producing Amontillado and Oloroso style wines.
TASTING NOTES: The NV Sibarita Oloroso VORS is produced with Palomino grapes balanced with 2% of Pedro Ximénez, which is quite common to polish the edges of very old wines in a solera created in 1792. It has a dark mahogany color, and the nose shows some toffee notes intermixed with roasted coffee, tar, ash and incense. The palate shows good depth, strong acidity, well compensated by the sweetness, and a slightly bitter finish. It stands apart from other Olorosos, with a unique range of aromas and flavors. 1,500 bottles are filled each year. -- Luis Gutierrez
All photos: Friederike Paetzold