After studying fortified wines for months on end for the WSET Diploma, a little knowledge has endured, and some new tastes discovered and retained. An illustration: I have become quite partial to dry amontillado and palo cortado styles: some of them are just stonkingly good. The great thing about liking some of these sherry wines is that their lack of popularity in Australia means that extraordinary quality and food friendliness (who doesn’t like Spanish food?) is obtainable for a reasonable price.
Palo cortado are wines that were selected to age as a fino or amontillado (i.e. under flor) but the flor has died, and have aged oxidatively like an oloroso. They therefore combine elements of both styles. This particular palo cortado from Romate is particularly good for its price. Clear and a pale intensity amber in colour, it has a medium-pronounced fragrance of chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, salt and some vanilla oak characters. On the palate it is dry, with long length, medium to full body, medium acidity and pronounced flavours of nuts, spices (cloves), vanilla and a roll-call of different types of savoury nuts. This palo cortado combines grace with power at a low price, and is very much recommended. 92 points (extremely good)