By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
When it came time for me to pick a wine for Wine Blogging Wednesday #70: Spain! hosted by my friends over at Catavino, it was a difficult choice. I don't have a ton of Spanish wine in my cellar, but what I do have is pretty interesting.
First, I reached for some older Riojas from Lopez de Heredia, an old-school producer who makes some of the most interesting wines I've encountered. But, I tend to prefer trying new things when WBW comes along. But what? My local shops don't have extensive Spanish offerings beyond the cheap, mostly mass-produced stuff.
Then I remembered that I had some sherry in the crawlspace area in my cellar, including this Bodegas Dios Baco Oloroso Jerez 30 Years Old Baco Imperial.
Just lightly chilled, the nose offered chocolaty oak, dried fig, grilled hazelnuts and blackstrap molasses aromas. I typically eschew wine with chocolate, but based on the nose, would this work?
Maybe. My sherry experience is limited and for whatever reason, I expected this one to be sweet, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was dry and even refreshing in its complexity and intensity.
The palate -- even at 19.5% abv -- is balanced and lively. The flavors stay in the dried fig and caramel arena with salty roasted nuttiness peeking in at the end of a very long finish. The saline quality here is delicious.
Closer to room temperature the chocolate from the nose made an appearance -- sort of like a chocolate Necco wafer.
I didn't try it with chocolate last night, but might tonight. I'd be curious to hear from sherry aficionados what they'd suggest I drink this with.
Thanks to Ryan and Gab for hosting WBW's comeback event. I hope we can keep it going for another 70 editions.