The Valdespino Añadas
One of the unexpected treats of Vinoble was the chance to sample Valdespino’s two Añadas which haven’t hit the market yet. Valdespino’s stand was right by the entrance to the Palacio de Villavicencio. Rather than appear in unseemly haste to have a drink, I always liked to have a wee wander first, and so I kept walking past and promising myself I’d pop in later. I finally got there on the last morning of Vinoble, when the stands were quieter and there was time to chat.
They had two different Añadas on offer: 2000 and 2001. Both made with wine from the Macharnudo Alto vineyards that are the source of Fino Inocente, Amontillado Tio Diego and Palo Cortado Viejo CP. As you can see from the photos, they were very different in colour and clarity. The bodega has decided not to name them as Fino, Amontillado or Fino-Amontillado, but simply to call them Macharnudo Añada. Whether this will remain the same when they release them commercially I don’t know, but personally I prefer the ambiguity. Call them what you like, they’re spectacular.
The 2000 is a cloudy dark golden. Not so appealing to look at as it’s younger brother, but looks can be deceiving. On the nose I kept coming back to caramelised Fino as the only way to put the aroma into words. Keep smelling and there’s more than a hint of Inocente, some gentle bitterness and hints of old polished wood. In the mouth it’s explosive. The flavours are a combination of roasted nuts and refreshing lemon zest, but it’s the explosiveness that really defines it. My mouth was just full of flavour, and it went on forever.
The 2001 looks much more refined – a glossy caramel colour, clear with long legs. On the nose it was more obviously in the Amontillado zone, with aromas of varnish, polish and unusual hints of liquorice. In the mouth it was much fuller bodied and velvety than the 2000, and whilst it had some of the same power, it wasn’t as explosive and arresting. Lovely of peanut praline and vanilla give way to a varnishy finish. Again it’s long, but not on the scale of the 2000.
I know these Añadas are anxiously awaited, and it was a privilege to be able to taste them. The contrast was striking, and really goes to show what a difference vintage can make. The 2001 was precise and elegant, whilst the 2000 was wild and exhilarating. I would joyfully drink them both, but the 2000 is the one I’d sell stuff on eBay to pay for.
The Añadas are not yet available commercially and only four bottles of each were produced for Vinoble. Bottling an Añada comes with a lot of paperwork and the opening of the barrel has to be supervised by the Consejo Regulador, so Grupo Estevez got permission to bottle a small sample, to test people’s reactions and help the company decide whether to go ahead and bottle them. Like they had to ask!