Monday, August 25, 2008

***+ $ NV Alvear Fino Sherry, Montilla, Spain

Original Review May, 2007: Here's a type of wine that's wholly new to me. From Andalusia in Spain (a location I know only for the infamous quasi-cult movie, Andalusian Dog), this is a white wine that I expect to be in the sherry tradition.

In the glass, it is a light, pale golden - think light chardonnay. That's a surprise right there, given the dark, heavy bottle with its portrait of the dapper gentlemen from the 1700's and its 16% alcohol.

The nose has something interesting going on, definitely old, woody and pleasantly funky in style. Zero fruit. The palate is hot, back of mouth, absolutely fruitless, like chewing on the bark of a sumac bush perhaps (not that I've tried that recently. Odd indeed. Is it wine? Not quite. Interesting? Yes.

Do I want to try again? Yes - only to figure out what it really is.

So I'll give it two stars because I don't REALLY want to try it again - but I'll give it a plus because I know I WILL try it again. Strange experience!
Update August, 2008: OK, I've been sipping my way through this bottle for more than a year. I think I have a better sense of it. Understand that it's high alcohol level, 16%, makes it something more like a dry port than a classic white wine. When you take that frame of mind, everything becomes a bit more manageable. First, the aroma. Interesting almonds and lemon. Potent. Unique. On the palate, there is a silkiness PLUS an effervescence of sorts. It's not a try fizziness, but a perky acidity that seems like fizz. When paired with the silkiness - and when you learn to expect it - this creates a wonderful balance. Finish lingers in the aroma. I'm moving to three stars now, with a plus for its continuing mezmerizing style.

In comparison, Stephen Tanzer awarded 90 points, saying, "Subtle, very delicate aromas of fresh bread and almonds. Round but shapely; easygoing and fresh. Lovely shape. Not at all austere."

1 comment:

  1. A sip into the mouth and let it rest, you
    will find the taste wonderful with its riches of the fruits and spices. Great taste of sherry wine, thanks