On Monday 16th June the WING group met to taste Sherry and Madeira, courtesy of Ralph. I’ve been offline for most of the time since. So… better late than never… here are my notes:

Dos Palmas Fino Bottled 2011 (Gonzalez Byass) – 15.5% – £15 (for ½ litre)
Palmas refers to a quality level (like stars) mark on the barrels – in this case 8 year old casks. The nose is very sharp, then notes of dried fruit. Darker and warmer than basic Tio Pepe, palate is very dry and salty – richer and deeper than most Fino – with warm dried citrus peel and nuts.

Tres Palmas Fino Bottled 2011 (Gonzalez Byass) – 16% – £40 (for ½ litre)
This is made from barrels of over 10 years old. It is slightly darker than the previous wine. A warmer and more subtle nose, with a range of light, yeasty aromatics. A rounder and more integrated palate with chalky mineral tones and mouth-watering acidity. Hints of dried citrus peel and hazelnut – very long and very good.

Del Duque Amontillado VORS (Gonzalez Byass) – 21.5% – £20 (for ½ bottle)
A wine aged for over 30 years to be VORS, this has a warm nutty nose, with a hint of olive and a slightly spritzy character. The palate has warm acidity, dried citrus and hints of cinder toffee later. A lovely wine with a ‘digestif’ quality.

Napoleon ORS (Hidalgo) – 18% – £45 (for ½ litre)
Very dark with linseed, olive and woody nose – very complex. Palate is very dry with citric acidity, yeasty warm alcohol and toffee flavours.

Terrantez Madeira 20 year old (Henriques & Henriques) – 20% – £55
Open, aromatic style, dried fruit and nuts – uncooked Xmas cake (?). Long palate – lovely citrus acidity – pitched at a slightly richer Vedelho-level of sweetness. Astonishingly long finish – with a slightly bitter twist against the sweetness. Lovely!

Malmsey Madeira 20 year old (Henriques & Henriques) – 20% – £50
Extraordinary dark treacle colour. Xmas pudding nose: dates and a spirit hint. Slightly less complex than the Terrantez. Heavier and slightly shorter but still impressive long line of acidity. A lovely style for those bigger puddings!

These styles are very under-rated, and it’s good to see some more unusual examples Thanks so much Ralph.