TASTING NOTE: NV Osborne Solera India Rare Sherry
My dad likes fortified wines. He’s just a classy dude like that. When I was first getting into wine, I remember him telling me that one of his favorite bottles he’s ever had was a Madeira, and I’ve always known him to enjoy a good Port now and again. So for his birthday this year, I thought I’d find him something a little different—a serious Sherry with some significant age on it.
Region: Jerez, Andalucia, Spain
Smell: molasses, raisin, oak, alcohol
Taste: smoky, burnt chocolate, coffee, nutty, acidic, medium-bodied
Overall: This is a non-vintage Sherry, and it’s a blend of Sherry from many different vintages, dating back to 1772 (so the bottle says). The average age of the wine blended in this bottle is about 35-50 years old. The color is dark, the consistency slick and oily, and the flavor absolutely saturated. The old cork was a bit crumbly, and as soon as the wine hit the glass, an explosive, spicy perfume filled the vicinity. It’s a dry, raisiny aroma, tempered by oak, warming alcohol, and something like molasses or burnt sugar. On the palate, this dry, old wine stretches its sinews, and I taste cacao, coffee beans, smoky oak, and walnut husks. Out of nowhere, a sneaky little acidity grips the salivary glands before disappearing on the finish. We paired this with some hazelnut chocolates, which accentuated the nuttiness of the wine. The experience really was superb. I just love when I can say, “I’ve never had anything like that before.” And I’m glad I got to share it with my dad!