Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Williams & Humbert Collection 12 yo Amontillado

I've no idea why Williams & Humbert decided to put a specific year stamp on this Amontillado. I thought that age statements on sherry were restricted to the VOS and VORS classifications. The youth and freshness of the wine seems to undermine whatever qualitative determination the statement has, so I can only assume it's a marketing decision. I don't think it's a good one, either. Sherry drinkers know the solera system and its age-defiance. Slapping a year on it - one I assume is either the mean or minimum age of the wines within the solera - doesn't do anyone trying to wrap their head around sherry any favours. Especially, in this case, as the wine is fairly atypical for an Amontillado.

Unless that's the point; to show that your average Amontillado is actually much older than you might think, and that at only 12 years, it's just barely in its post-Fino state. But that's not explained anywhere - you just get told it's 12 without any context.  

Maybe I just don't get it. Maybe I'm over-thinking the labelling. I don't usually care about labels, unless they're awful. In any case, this banter is distracting from what is, actually, an incredibly tasty sherry. Maybe they should have called it that.

Very pale. A light, golden brass, looks perhaps a little low on the filtered side of things.

Brine, salted nuts and chestnut mushrooms on the nose. Lively and fresh.

I said on Twitter that this was far more Fino-like than Amontillado-y. The front of the palate is lemon rind riding chalk dust, with a fresh saltiness. It's a bracing start that doesn't pick up that expected nuttiness until midway through, and even then, the zing and citrus pervade throughout. Blind, I might have guessed a Pasada. I wonder if the flor maybe wasn't quite dead yet? Regardless, this is a truly fantastic sherry. Ignore the label, as it claims to be medium dry. Nonsense. Bone dry, and brilliantly so.


Tasted at Shorehead, 27 June 2012 

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