19-09-2015

Drinking 240 year-old Sherry will land you in jail

During a tour through Crimea by Russian president/leader-for-life Vladimir Putin and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (who all British press add “disgraced” to the beginning of) they apparently drank a very rare bottle of 1775 Jerez de la Frontera Sherry. This has in turned sparked the ire of Ukraine to which Crimea still in theory belongs although no Western government will seem to acknowledge and Google Maps has even given the “Eastern Border of Israel” treatment to. Ukraine has ruled that the drinking of said bottle of 240 year-old wine was destruction of cultural heritage as the bottle has been a gem in the Massandra winery’s half a million bottle collection forever.

There are many things to absorb in this. For starters, someone might wonder as to how a wine that’s older than the United States would taste? Probably pretty decent. Sherry (and for that matter other fortified wines) was created to be bulletproof for sea journeys with the addition of the distilled alcohol which not only stopped fermentation but also stopped all other forms of bacterial growth. But, they were making Sherry that long ago? Yes, it actually started in the region during Moorish occupation in the 8th century and was fully legal under Islamic law until butthole, Al-Hakam II decided that alcohol was then bad for some reason. But, under European control, the region has been actively producing and presumably getting loaded on Sherry since the 13th century.

The bigger question of course is to whether Putin and Berlusconi enjoyed this rare treat that’s worth some $90,000 USD or so. Putin seems that he would prefer whatever James Bond’s archenemy drinks which would in theory not be Vodka but instead some form of tisane distilled from the tears of an albino leopard. Berlusconi on the other hand, while from Italy’s north and most impressive wine area would seem to enjoy wine. The only issue is that after so many bunga bunga years, everything would presumably taste like underage prostitutes to him which is a rather unfathomable flavor admittedly yet one he presumably knows oh so well being Italy’s Disgraced Former Prime Minister and all.

Thus, the drinking of this rare Sherry was most likely a waste, much like this one. And it comes on the heels of Ukraine having a rough go with wine-related celebrities farting in their general direction as shown by their need to ban Gerard Depardieu from the country. If you need more on that particular issue, watch John Oliver’s take, seriously, watch that while mourning the loss of this lovely wine being opened for two corrupt politicians; hopefully they knew to use an ah-so.

Above photo from Wikipedia

WINES

Álvaro Palacios - L’Ermita 2016
Very light red cherry, raspberry, tea leaves, dried fennel, light touch of anise, bay leaf, dried flowers, touch of fig compote, truffle. Exceptionally light and delicate on the palate, very very fine red fruits, integrated tannins, plush with a slightly buttery, velvety aspect, very long finish.
85% Grenache 14% Carignan 1% "Others" · 15% · 1160EUR
97+ 3 Stars

Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
95 3 Stars

Álvaro Palacios - Les Aubaguetes 2016
Linear plum and dark cherry notes, powdery cocoa, orange peel and blossom, raspberry at the base along with minor vanilla and dark spice touches. Delicate on the palate, light touches of dark fruit, good wealth of tannins yet held in check, medium plus acidity, very long finish. Needs much more time in the bottle.
77% Grenache 21% Carignan 1% Grenache Blanc 1% Macabeu · 14.5% · 455EUR
95+ 3 Stars

Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
94 3 Stars

Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
93 2 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
93 2 Stars

AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
93 2 Stars

Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
93 2 Stars

Terroir Sense Fronteres - Guix Vermell 2017
Crisp red cherry fruit, touch of spice, flecks of pepper, baking spice, compacted, wet earth. Delicate on the palate, stays fresh, surprising high wealth of tannins, long finish.
100% Grenache · 13% · 250EUR
93+ 3 Stars

Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
93+ 3 Stars