Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Un bien andalou

with 3 comments

The idea for the second flight and, indeed, the tasting was sparked by an unsuccessful food paring at a sommeliers’ showdown at Manitoba, where the second course was a sauté of duck hearts in a sauce flavoured with maple syrup. Not having tasted the dish beforehand and thinking of its mineral and nutty notes, Steve had chosen Lustau’s Mazanilla “Papirusa” to accompany it. Unfortunately, the sauce’s inherent sweetness clashed with the wine’s dryness (for those at our table, Theo “oenopole” Diamantis’s pairing of La Stoppa’s 2013 “Trebbiolo,” whose residual sugar levels I’d previously found disconcerting, worked far better). Post-meal, Steve said he’d be curious to try the Papirusa and some of its stablemates with more appropriate, iodine-rich and salty fare. Always happy to lend a hand, I suggested the MWG’s underground lair as a venue and plans were hatched.

The iodine-rich and salty fare included three sheep milk cheeses, Serrano ham, dried sausage, olives, almonds and raw shellfish (British Columbia and New Brunswick oysters and Maine scallops) from the consistently impressive Bleu Marin, currently a wholesaler but reportedly soon to open a storefront in Montreal.

Manzanilla, Papirusa, Bodegas Lustau ($12.40/375 ml, 11767565)
100% Palomino. Matured in American oak casks in the traditional criaderas and solera system. Reducing sugar: < 1.2 g/l. 15% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Complex, lightly oxidized nose of brown sugar, nuts, raw whole grains and faint dried flowers. Dry, intense, light and long in the mouth. Alive with fresh acidity. Iodine notes appear on the mid-palate, fruit (dried apple?) and nuts (almonds?) on the finish. A briny tang runs throughout. The QPR is off the charts. Perfect with green olives, delicious with the New Brunswick oyster and good with the cheeses. (Buy again? Def.)

Manzanilla Pasada de Sanlúcar, Almacenista, Manuel Cuevas Jurado, Bodegas Lustau ($33.00/500 ml, 11767565)
100% Palomino. The solera consists of 80 butts plus the supporting criaderas, which are matured in Manuel Cuevas Jurado’s bodegas in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. 17% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Intriguing nose of “grilled peanuts” (per one taster), distant straw, dried corn, dulse and dried orange peel. Richer and more intense than the Papirusa. Lean and well-delineated. The salinity is very present here. Fresh despite the nutty oxidative notes. Ends elegantly with a long, tangy, minerally finish. Perhaps the most versatile with food. Played interestingly off the the BC oyster’s cucumber flavours. (Buy again? Yes.)

Fino del Puerto, Almacenista, José Luis Gonzáles Obregón, Bodegas Lustau ($21.80/500 ml, 12340150)
100% Palomino. Matured in American oak casks in the traditional solera system in El Puerto de Santa María. 17% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
White fruit and a hint of citrus along with white spices, chamomile, crushed oyster shells and a sour edge. Light and delicate in the mouth, dry but not drying. Brightly acidic yet softer, more glowing than the Manzanillas. Delicious minerality and a long tangy finish. The best of the bunch with the jamón. (Buy again? Yes.)

Palo Cortado de Jerez, Almacenista, Vides, Bodegas Lustau ($35.25/500 ml, 12365761)
100% Palomino. Matured in American oak casks in the traditional solera system. 19% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Darker, deeper nose: dried stone fruit, citrus peel, coffee overtones and hints of walnut and butterscotch. Rich, round and dry on the palate but also sweet-seeming. Caramel, sweet spice and nuts dominate though there’s plenty of briny salt and tang if you look for it. Some orange peel creeps in on the long, long finish. A beautiful wine. Excellent with the raw scallop dusted with Madagascar pepper, loveliest of all with the cheeses and the only one of the quartet that worked with the dried sausage. (Buy again? Oh, yes.)

MWG March 12th tasting: flight 2 of 7

Written by carswell

March 31, 2016 at 14:55

3 Responses

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  1. So sad I missed this!

    jonah campbell

    March 31, 2016 at 15:10

    • Well, yes, it would have been right up your alley. On the other hand, you would have had to give up getting food-poisoned in Paris, now wouldn’t you?


      March 31, 2016 at 17:07

      • Wouldn’t have traded that for all the Sherry in Xerez!

        jonah campbell

        March 31, 2016 at 17:09

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