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) is at least twice that age, and probably older. The entire solera is compromise of 25 barrels and only 1.5% of the wine is drawn yearly from each barrel. After the dismantling by Pernod Ricard of the Allied Domecq empire in 2005, the VORS soleras were bought by Osborne and moved to El Puerto de Santa Maria, where they now form part of the bodega/museum along with other amazing soleras. These old wines have been beautifully looked after by oenologist Ignacio Lozano, despite their lack of real profitability. They could never be sold for their real value, but help give prestige to the bodega and its other products. And to Sherry 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 WA & "Year's Best Sherry" by 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 - try it with the Middle-eastern dip dukkah, Sautéed mushrooms, Albondigas (meatballs)and Patés, especially game pates.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: 30 years of age at bottling (average) from 5 criaderas founded in 1790
PRODUCTION: 66 cases (3 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: Vines tended in albariza soil at 70 m (230 ft) elevation. With averages highs of 22C (72F) and lows of 13C (56F), there are nearly an impressive 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and the summers are glorious. Most of the 584mm (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. Notes by 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. Notes by Patricio Tapia.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold