Delgado Zuleta - 'Monteagudo' Amontillado 375ml

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"I always have loved Amontillado Sherries. They have the lightness and playfulness of a Fino at heart but the courageousness of an Olorosso. This has a baked bread element which matches perfectly with the caramelised and toasted hazelnut, chestnut and almond flavours it gains from oxidative ageing. Hints of coffee bean and dark chocolate arise from the glass as it warms up also."


--------THE PRODUCER--------

Delgado Zuleta

Delgado Zuleta is the oldest, still active, producer of Sherry. Most Sherry is produced in Jerez but there is a smaller town of Sanlucar de Barrameda, which is more coastal, still permitted to produce Sherry wines, this is where Delgado Zuleta is set up. They have been producing top quality Sherry wines since 1744. The forefront of Delgado Zuleta's portfolio is of the Manzanilla Sherries.



--------THE GRAPE--------


Palomino is famous for its usage in the fortified wines of Sherry where it is the base for everything from Fino to Oloroso sherries. As a white wine it is often bland but great examples of Palomino are zesty with fresh lime and green apple flavours.


--------THE REGION--------

Sanlucar de Barrameda

Sanlucar de Barrameda, a historic coastal town in Andalucia, is the home of refreshing, sea-scented Manzanilla Sherry. The town's humid, maritime air creates an ideal environment for the development of flor yeasts – the secret behind Manzanilla's distinctive taste and aroma.

The Manzanilla DO (Denominación de Origen), created in 1933, covers exactly the same geographical area as the Jerez DO and the Palomino Fino grapes that go into the base wine can be grown anywhere in the Jerez viticultural area. What separates the two is the all-important barrel maturation stage, which must take place in Sanlucar.

Manzanilla, matured in Sanlucar de Barrameda

Located on the left bank of the Guadalquivir estuary, Sanlucar de Barrameda is the northernmost point of the famous "Sherry Triangle", which is completed by El Puerto de Santa Maria (24km/15 miles south, along the coast) and Jerez de la Frontera (24km/15 miles southeast and inland).

Sanlucar's particular location was critical in the development of the Manzanilla style of Sherry for two reasons. The first is the moist seaside air here, which both encourages prolific flor growth and imparts a gently saline note to the wines.

Proximity to the Atlantic means that both summer and winter are less harsh here than in Jerez de la Frontera, so the heat-sensitive flor can survive all year round. This both increases the yeasty, fresh-bread character of the wine and imparts distinctive notes of almonds and camomile ("manzanilla" in Spanish).

The flor also continuously protects the wine from oxygen, preventing it from developing into an oxidative  Amontillado or Oloroso style. If the wine is left to age for so long that the flor does eventually die, the resulting wine is known as "Manzanilla Olorosa" and then a "Manzanilla Pasada".

The second reason relates to Sanlucar's strategic value as a port. Not only does the town sit at the very center of Spain's (relatively short) stretch of Atlantic coastline, it also happens to be just 72km (45 miles) downstream from Seville, Andalucia's ancient capital.

This made it an obvious base for Spain's explorers to set out on their voyages during the Age of Discovery (both Columbus and Magellan launched voyages from the town), and later as a key transatlantic trading post.

As transatlantic trading burgeoned, so Sanlucar became increasingly important. Vast quantities of wine were stored there, and over time the traders observed a subtly different style of wine emerging – the style we now know as Manzanilla.


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