Amontillado Bodegas Poniente
This rare Amontillado sherry is named after the Poniente winds, cool Atlantic western winds. Following the arc of history, winemaker Alberto Orte embraces his family’s rich tradition of solera system wines from Montilla-Moriles to create this unparalleled project from El Aljibe. Poniente sherries are the product of the thoughtful blending of precious, treasured soleras and criaderas from the 18th and 19th centuries, refreshed in the traditional method each year with wine from our own organically farmed estate vineyards (San Cristóbal, San José y El Aljibe) in the Pago Añina, one of only three pago sites in Jeréz designated as Jeréz Superior. The wines are produced and aged in our historical estate, a restored house tucked among the vines of El Aljibe.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? This Amontillado comes from a system of six criaderas and one solera, with a median age of over 40 years. The wine used to refresh the sixth criadera comes from organically farmed vineyards and has a median age of 10 years. Unlike others, this Amontillado has never been fortified, but instead gradually transitioned into the oxidative aging phase of its life thanks to a gradual depletion of flor-sustaining nutrients creating a slow but steady concentration of the wine. This is the saca or bottling by one of the few bodegas which ages the wine surrounded by the vineyards giving it an authentic sense of place.
RATING HISTORY: 93 WA
GRAPE: 100% Palomino Fino
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: We recommend serving chilled in a write wine glass, starting around 45F with optimal consumption reaching 54F. Pair with grilled artichokes, tuna tataki, Croquetas de Jamon, seared chanterelle mushrooms, grilled asparagus and Kafta (Lebanese beef skewers). A gentle decanting will help the wine express itself more swiftly. The bottle can remain open for one year, although the longer it remains open, the wine may present with a slight haziness which will not affect its taste or texture. If cellaring for a long time in bottle, we recommend decanting before serving.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: This Amontillado comes from a system of six criaderas and one solera, with a median age of over 40 years. The wines used to refresh the sixth criadera comes from our organically farmed estate vineyards in the Pago Añina, from a meticulous clonal selection of more than 200 ancient and mostly forgotten clones of Palomino with a median age of 10 years. The wine has rested two years in the winery at El Aljibe before the saca.
PRODUCTION: 83 cases (3-packs)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The wines are produced from estate vineyards (San Cristóbal, San José y El Aljibe) in the Pago Añina, and aged at our historical estate, a restored house tucked among the vines of El Aljibe. Jerez is one of the most southerly growing regions and is known for hot dry summers mitigated by the Atlantic Ocean influence. The growing season, spring and summer, are marked by the influence of the Poniente (cool and humid westerly wind) and the levante (hot and dry wind from the south east). The area receives a predominately high exposure of sunlight hours ranging from 3,000 to 3,200 a season. During the fall winter an average of 600 meters (almost 2,000 ft) of heavy rains drench the parched white loam of chalk and clay known as albariza, which forms a crust and locks in the moisture for summer reserves.