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Valdespino Old Oloroso Solera 1842 VOS

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Jancis Robinson: “One of the sherries I enjoyed the most was the bold main course choice of the stunning Spanish team, Valdespino, Solera 1842 Oloroso Dulce Sherry served with their shoulder of lamb, slow cooked on a dark tawny almond cream that was actually more like peanut butter than the pale almond soupy liquid I had been expecting from the description. This wine is from a solera begun in the mid 19th century (though obviously, through fractional blending, the wine drawn from the solera today is nothing like that old. But what I loved about it was that it is clearly long aged in oak, with lots of oxidative rancio notes, and yet has the balance of sweetness and even fruit just right. Every sherry bodega worth its salt has a little stash of very old wine that has been aged in wood for decades. Many of these wines are downright painful to taste – so austere and almost bitter are they. And then there are the older sherries that are made acceptable by the simple expedient of adding sweetening, usually in the form of dried raisiny Pedro Ximenez.But this sherry has so much acidity and depth of nutty flavour that it tastes just off dry – quite dry enough to serve with a main course, or with cheese, ham or nuts (and definitely not sweet enough to serve with a really sweet dessert). Wine and food writer Francis Percival apparently enjoyed this gorgeously nuanced wine at his wedding with Eccles cakes and crumbly, salty Lancashire cheese. I bet that match was great.”

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Belgium + €250; Luxemburg + € 320; Germany + € 330; Netherlands + €335; France & Austria + € 430; Denmark + €445

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Of up to 12 bottles