Lustau Almacenistas: Small-batch revolutionaries

Lustau Almacenistas

Small-batch revolutionaries

From the chalky soils of Jerez, Sherry has been made in Southern Spain for centuries. Emilio Lustau is a world-famous bodega that was created in 1896 by José Ruiz-Berdejo – an almacenista. Almacenistas are independent artisans who have been crafting fine Sherry on a small scale for decades. Out of more than 50 in the nineties, only 17 almacenistas were left by 2019. Lustau started the revolutionary project of bottling these small-batch wines separately, with the artisan’s name on the front label. The number on the label indicates the quantity of barrels used.

Put simply, there are two main styles of Sherry – one with flor, a layer that protects the wine, and one without. Manzanilla and Fino are the lightest and freshest, protected from oxygen by live flor. When the flor fades, you get the nutty, rich, and darker-coloured Amontillado and Palo Cortado. Amontillado is an aged Fino, and the rarer Palo Cortado sits between Amontillado and Oloroso in style.

Manual Cuevas Jurado became an almacenista in 1950 and produces the Manzanilla Pasada de Sanlúcar 1/80 NV (aged for 7 years) and Amontillado de Sanlúcar Jurado 1/21 NV (aged for 12 years). José Luis González Obregón started as an almacenista in 1959, as a hobby, after retiring as cellarmaster at Capataz. He is the maker of the Fino del Puerto Gonzalez Obrégon 1/143 NV (aged for 5 years) and Amontillado del Puerto Obrégon 1/10 NV (aged for 12 years). The tiny bodega of Cayetano del Pino dates back to 1886 and produces the ultra-rare Palo Cortado de Jerez Pino y Cía 1/22 NV

Sherry is made with white grapes, notably Palomino. Most are bone-dry and are the ultimate food wines with their saltiness and super fresh acidity. The lighter styles can be drunk over a few weeks, whilst the richer versions will last for months once open.

We also have small quantities of VORS – Very Old and Rare Sherries, which received up to 97/100 from the Wine Advocate! VORS Sherries are jaw-dropping and ‘as profound as any alcoholic beverage in the world’, concludes Robert Parker. View the range.

Lustau Almacenistas: Small-batch revolutionaries
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