Capuchino Palo Cortado (1790) VORS
The Capuchino Palo Cortado is a rare wine coming from one of the oldest existing soleras in the Jerez district dating back to 1790. The name Capuchino refers to the Capuchin monks who live in Jerez. While sold as a VORS (guaranteed minimum age of 30 years) it is at least twice that age. The entire solera is compromised of 25 barrels, and only 1.5% of the wine is drawn from each barrel annually. After the dismantling of the Allied Domecq empire in 2005 by Pernod Ricard, the VORS soleras were bought by Osborne and moved to El Puerto de Santa Maria, where they (along with other amazing soleras) now form part of the Osborne bodega and museum. Despite their lack of real profitability, these old wines have been lovingly looked after by oenologist Ignacio Lozano. The wines could never be sold for their real value, but help give prestige to the bodega and to the sherry category in general.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? A natural Palo Cortado, coming from one of the oldest soleras in Jerez, dating back to 1790.
RATING HISTORY: 94 Decanter; 94 WA, "Year's Best Sherry" W&S Magazine
GRAPE: 100% Palomino. Vines tended in albariza soil at 70 m (230 ft) elevation from the Macharnudo pago.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Capuchino pairs extremely well with jamon iberico, aged manchego, almonds and hazelnuts. Also try it with middle-eastern dip dukkah, sautéed mushrooms, albondigas (meatballs) and patés, especially game patés.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: 30 years of age at bottling (on average) from 5 criaderas founded in 1790. RS = 0 g/L
PRODUCTION: 66 cases (3 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: Vines tended in albariza soil at 70 m (230 ft) elevation. With average 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 Capuchino VORS Palo Cortado displays a bright mahogany robe, has a nose of incense, noble woods, quince, a touch spirity and lots of hazelnuts, while the medium- to full-bodied palate is quite bitter, intense and powerful with the roundness of an Oloroso, persistent and full, with good acidity, ending with a note of coffee. -- Luis Gutierrez An essential Palo Cortado, from a solera established in 1790, this holds to the drier side of the style. It seems to have absorbed all the limestone of the albariza soil of Jerez, presenting it with a mineral austerity that is saline to the extreme. However, it also carries a few drops of sweetness, a touch of gentleness that will make it a fine bridge to the juicy, dark meat of roasted game birds. -- Patricio Tapia
All photos: Friederike Paetzold