Thursday Vinopolpick- March 6

March 6, 2014

The welcoming courtyard at Bodegas Tradicion, where regular tours are held

Though only established in 1998, the family behind Bodegas Tradición has a history that traces back to the earliest days of Sherry production. Joaquin Rivero, a descendant of one of the oldest sherry houses, Bodega CZ, began by purchasing and renovating an abandoned bodega in Jerez. To reclaim his family’s traditional heritage of pure and authentic Sherry, a series of older soleras were procured from several historic firms. Specializing exclusively in top quality, traditionally aged Sherries, all of Bodegas Tradicion’s wines(with the exception of the Fino) are aged for at least 20 years. Each one exceptional in its class, all are bottled, labeled, and numbered by hand. Neither fining nor cold-stabilization occur, and only the minimal possible filtration takes place before bottling.

Over 1200 sherry casks are housed in the ever-expanding bodega

From a relatively small beginning of just four releases, three of them VORS (Very Old Rare Sherry) and one VOS (Very Old Sherry), the current offering below encompasses Fino, Palo Cortado VORS, Oloroso VORS, Amontillado VORS, Cream VOS, PX VOS, and an extremely rare Oloroso Añada from 1970, aged in oak barrels since vinification. As Peter Liem, writes in his book Sherry, Manzanilla, & Montilla A guide to the Traditional Wines of Andalucía, “These sherries are exceptional for their refinement and personality. All are outstanding in their categories, demonstrating not only the power and concentration of old wines but also an uncommon finesse and an elegantly detailed complexity.”

Full Bodegas Tradicion Lineup- Arriving Today

Bodegas Tradición Fino NV ($49.95) $39 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“The NV Fino Viejo Tradición is purchased from suppliers, it averages 12 years old, and is used to feed their Amontillado, but the (limited) market demand for this kind of wine has convinced them of producing 1,500 bottles now, and they will bottle another 1,500 in October. Unfiltered, unfined, this would have been considered a Fino Amontillado in the past. Golden color, pungent and powerful nose, with flower notes, it has a big palate, but it’s still a Fino –a fine wine- it’s old, extremely complex, low in acidity, but keeping the freshness, a little saline with the typical bitter end. This should have an interesting evolution in bottle. Drink 2013-2016.“

Bodegas Tradición Amontillado VORS NV ($79.95) $69 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “The NV Tradición Amontillado VORS, certainly has the more complex and subtle nose of all these VORS and is on average 45 years old. It has a very clean nose, with elegance and complexity, powerful but subtle notes of hazelnuts, honey and even some dates. The medium-bodied palate shows a sharp wine with strong salinity, it has the power and the lightness, in a very difficult combination. Drink 2013-2020.”Bodegas Tradición Cream VOS NV ($79.95) $69 special 12 bottles available
This is the most recent addition to the portfolio (so new that it has yet to be reviewed) and completely transcends the Cream category. It also represents the only blend bottled by the bodega with 70% coming from 35+ year old Oloroso barrels and 30% from young 5 year old PX barrels. Here the intensity of old Oloroso blends seamlessly with the dried fruit concentration of the Pedro Ximenex, creating a wine that appeals to both dessert wine drinkers and those seeking a pairing for sturdier main dishes. Being a VOS, it is certified by the Consejo Regulador to be greater than 20 years average age at bottling, an extremely rare Cream sherry indeed.Bodegas Tradición Oloroso VORS NV ($84.95) $71.90 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The single vintage wines are different, but they are not necessarily better than the solera wines. In fact I preferred the Oloroso VORS to the two single-vintage; I found it more complex and fluid, while the single vintages were more concentrated and powerful, but not as nuanced. I’m talking about the NV Tradición Oloroso VORS, on average 45-50 years old, which gives the wine a concentration of glycerin and dry extract that is amazing. Silky, very interesting to see the wine that has been blended over the years is more complex. The proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove, it is full-bodied, and still follows the same, clean, elegant, precise line of the rest of the wines from Tradición. Drink 2013-2025.”

Bodegas Tradición Pedro Ximenez VOS NV ($89.95) $79 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“The NV Tradición Pedro Ximenez 20 anos VOS, produced from Pedro Ximenez grapes and aged in a solera for an average of 23-25 years (which was originally purchased from Domecq & Harveys), is bottled ‘young’ to preserve the character of the grapes and make it more drinkable. The alcohol is also kept at the allowed minimum of 15%. It lacks the rancio notes of others, and is looking for the balance between age and fruit, raisins, dates, dried plums, cappuccino coffee, and licorice while following the clean and precise profile of all the wines they produce. The palate is equally balanced and elegant. This little monster has around 420 grams of sugar, and should be served at 12-14? C. The wine gets more focused with a little time in the glass. Drink 2013-2018.”

Bodegas Tradición Palo Cortado VORS NV ($109.95) $89 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The NV Palo Cortado Tradición VORS, averages 32 years of age, which they consider the correct age for Palo Cortado, so it is not just an old Sherry. Light amber-colored, the nose has a sweet sensation, apricots, and almonds but then the mouth is very dry and saline, fine and light, with flavors of hazelnut, a little varnish, very elegant, intense, pungent, a little spirity. It has a delineated palate, superb intensity, and very long finish. Classical, elegant, clean, intense and delicate could be common descriptors for all their wines. A textbook Palo Cortado. Drink 2013-2019.”

Bodegas Tradición Oloroso Añada 1970 ($379.95) $249 special 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “There are only six bodegas in Jerez with approved añadas, single-vintage wines and only Gonzalez-Byass, Lustau and Tradición have any in the market. Tradición doesn’t want to release anything younger than 20 years old. The 1970 Oloroso Añada is being released right now. Older, more concentrated, more refined, these wines benefit from air (they need a big glass, not a small tasting glass), as they are always initially closed and need a little time to get rid of some reductive aromas. The complexity of aromas next to the 1975 is amazing, and it is extremely powerful on the palate. The volume loss to get to VORS is 45%. They become more concentrated and with a very high extract. Drink 2013-2030.”