Back To Jerez (Mar. 9, 2013)

I used to drink the stuff all the time, seven years ago. Quality sherries were available at attractive prices on my business trips, so it was the first classic wine I drank on a regular basis. Then my attention wandered, and as drinking partners for sherry became harder to find, my luggage space began to be allocated to more popular styles.

During the two-three years that the sherry bug had hit me, I'd never had a vintage sherry. So when I recently saw the Lustau, Rich Oloroso, Abocado, Anade 1997 (about 20 GBP for a 50 cl bottle), I knew I'd have to try it.

I still get what it's saying. A pungent nose of roasted nuts, olive brine, mildew infested wood. A rich palate that is sweet, yet cleanses the taste buds like a dry wine. It's very classical in style and temperament, and it offers remarkable freshness for a 16 year old wine (that is made in an oxidized style in the first place) but it doesn't offer any angles or edges, which is what I expect from a really special sherry - and that is what I assumed the Anada to be, since the bodega felt the casks the vintage matured in were special enough to be bottled separately. Maybe it's just my relative indifference to the Oloroso style. I always preferred the greater elegance of an Amontillado or a Palo Cortados.

Efrat made this absolutely amazing avocado spread, that I'm sure has red hot peppers in it. It made a match made in heaven with the Abocado 1997, not to mention an apt one etymologically.

Check out the Lustau site.