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Jay Labrador

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WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Jay Labrador » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:57 am

Paella for lunch today and didn't feel like red wine so a chance to try some Palo Cortado that comes highly recommended by the distributor here in Manila. Bodegas Hidalgo Wellington Palo Cortado 20 Years VOS - Brilliant mahogany/red. On the nose, caramel, toffee and nuts. Very dry and nutty. There is a fair amount of acidity that makes this a very appetizing and clean drink. Impressive length. Excellent sherry. Palo Cortado is a Fino that loses the layer of Flor and therefore starts aging oxidatively like an Amontillado. VOS stands for Vinum Optimum Signatum or Very Old Sherry in English. This guarantees that the wine is at least 20 years old.
Last edited by Jay Labrador on Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:36 am

Sounds delicious Jay.
I hope I speak for many here, Happy Holidays!
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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Jenise » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:44 pm

What a great choice. I had my first Palo Cortado a year or so ago, a 30 year old; flavorwise, it was one of the most multi-faceted wines I've ever had. I couldn't write fast enough to note all the things I was tasting.
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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by ChaimShraga » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:25 pm

Jay Labrador wrote:Palo Cortado is a Fino that loses the layer of Flor and therefore starts aging oxidatively like an Amontillado.


I've never been able to figure out the difference between a Palo Cortado and an Oloroso. They're both oxidative, aren't they? Is the difference that Oloroso never has a flor layer in the first place?
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Jay Labrador

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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Jay Labrador » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:01 pm

ChaimShraga wrote:
Jay Labrador wrote:Palo Cortado is a Fino that loses the layer of Flor and therefore starts aging oxidatively like an Amontillado.


I've never been able to figure out the difference between a Palo Cortado and an Oloroso. They're both oxidative, aren't they? Is the difference that Oloroso never has a flor layer in the first place?


Apparently, that's the case.
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Jay Labrador

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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Jay Labrador » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:02 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Sounds delicious Jay.
I hope I speak for many here, Happy Holidays!


Thanks, Bob! Merry Christmas to you, too.
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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Jay Labrador » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:04 pm

Jenise wrote:What a great choice. I had my first Palo Cortado a year or so ago, a 30 year old; flavorwise, it was one of the most multi-faceted wines I've ever had. I couldn't write fast enough to note all the things I was tasting.


I've also got a bottle of 30 year old PC. Maybe that will be for the next Spanish dinner.
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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Steve Edmunds » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:36 am

A Palo Cortado starts out as a fino, an Oloroso does not. And the flor, if my memory serves, is part of the fino definition.
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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by ChaimShraga » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:57 am

I always thought Palo Cortado was the most complex of the styles. I guess going through two phases does that.
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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Mike Pollard » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:47 pm

We tasted at Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana earlier in the year and an interesting bit of trivia is that they still stamp some of their barrels Wellington or Napoleon as a nod to the fact that they supplied both Wellington's and Napoleon's armies with sherry. Their aged Amontillado's carry the name Napoleon. Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana wines come into the US via Classical Wines and they do have a "Production Chart" that gives some clues to the differences between their Palo Cortado and Amontillado. But the difference has never been entirely clear to me except that the Palo Cortado is fortified (as a preservative) after its loss of flor.

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Jay Miller

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Re: WTN: Wellington Palo Cortado 20 years

by Jay Miller » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Love the Hidalgo Wellington VOS.

As I understand it the difference between an Amontillado and a Palo Cortado is that in an Amontillado they flor dies off naturally after consuming all the glycerol, etc. that it feeds off of. The theoretical way a PC comes into existence is if a Fino has more body than it should (though I've never seen this stated I speculate that this might be due to the glycerol not being consumed for some reason) it's put in a separate location and fortified to kill off the flor. This process might be repeated multiple times if necessary (each time a cut, or cortado, is made on the barrel).

This is supposed to be an accidental occurrence but given that almost everyone makes a PC these days that claim is greeted with a certain degree of skepticism.

I highly recommend Peter Liem and Jesus Barquin's book Sherry, Manzanilla and Montilla for anyone with any interest in Sherry. It has an extensive discussion on the various styles and their history.

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