Fernando de Castilla Antique Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Andalucia, Spain NV 500ML ($49.95) Buy Now: $39 special
Not long ago, I had the opportunity to sample a diverse range of Sherries, ranging from dry, salty and austere to sweet, silky and oxidized and seemingly every possibility between. There was a 1970 Bodegas Tradicion Oloroso (hidden under the table and only poured for those that asked, of course), the light and salty Innocente Fino from Valdespino, and even a couple of ever unusual Palo Cortados. Of the sweet options, the one that stood out did so not really by any crazy exotic flair but rather for lingering pleasantly for about 5 minutes after tasting. I’ve experienced a few other bottlings from Fernando de Castilla, but the PX is by far my favorite for its length, value and flavor. The PX pulls off the unfined/unfiltered/hands-off style of the estate with gusto.
Thick and viscous, this dessert PX sherry is a delight. While the viscosity might not quite reach the extreme of blackstrap molasses, the color certainly does. It offers upfront notes of dark raisins and roasted nuts, moderate acidity and a lingering note of dark chocolate. The acidity and faint notes of dried orange peel help keep this from being cloying. Enjoy with coffee-, chocolate- or dried fruit-based desserts or go wild with caramel-coated roasted nuts. –Suzanne
Wine Spectator 93 points “This deep and viscous version shows good range, as warm ganache, buckwheat, toasted poppy seed, black walnut, rum-soaked raisin, sweet Turkish coffee and prune eau-de-vie notes are all seamlessly layered, while a gingerbread accent at the very end imparts lift. Thoroughly unique. Drink now.” WS