Today I tasted…. Amontillado 51-1a VORS by Osborne
I’ve previously written about Capuchino and Sibarita, the sister sherries to this one. All come from soleras previously owned by Domecq and recently acquired by Osborne. The Amontillado 51-1a solera was laid down in 1830 by Domecq.
Like its siblings, Amontillado 51-1a is a VORS sherry, meaning it has a guaranteed average age of at least 30 years, verified by the Consejo Regulador through a tasting panel and carbon dating. The age is very apparent when you pour a glass – it is a dark brownish amber, viscous with persistent legs. Quite a different proposition to a young, relatively pale and light-bodied Amontillado.
On the nose there are no real remaining hints of its time under flor -which, let’s face it, was a while ago. It has rich, pungent aromas of caramel, a little wood polish and walnuts. In fact its aromas wouldn’t be amiss in a Palo Cortado.
On the palate, it’s a rich, full-bodied mouthful. Its Fino origins make a brief appearance at the beginning, with fresh, bright lemon zest flavours. These combine with spray polish, before giving way to hazelnuts in their skins, charred wood and a little caramel. It has a long, nutty and slightly bitter finish. The 19% alcohol is well-integrated with no discernible heat. It’s very complex, but couldn’t be described as smooth – it has some sharp edges that I think come from its age, and that I really rather like. This is a sherry with personality and a history – more Helen Mirren than Jennifer Aniston – and it’s all the better for it.