Another gem from Jerez that for some reason is not so well known outside of Spain: the Duque de Veragua Solera Gran Reserva made by Álvaro Domecq, S.L. from Jerez. This one was on my radar for some years but I somewhat never was able to source it for a decent price (I really wish I could visit Spain more often). Finally I found a place in Germany that had a good offer and I pulled the trigger. Maybe this Brandy is not so well known outside of Spain as the bodega is rather young. But so much upfront, I feel this really should change!
The presentation with the nicely shaped bottle in the old school, red cardboard packaging already builds up a high expectation. The dark, glossy and almost coffee like color even more so. And what can I say, opening the bottle for the first time fills the ambient air with the rich scent of a well aged Solera Gran Reserva. Don’t you just love it when you pull the cork and get a nice whiff of Brandy?!? Spectacular!
Luckily the taste and finish do not disappoint the high expectation as the drink carries all the classic aspects of an excellent Brandy. Really a true master piece that outshines many of the well known regular SLRs by a good stretch! Not knowing how many years this distill has on its back I am guessing that it contains quite some old stock, at least 15 to 20 years if not more (and after checking the home page linked above I understand the older contents of this SGR are 30 years).
I personally always like to know which grapes have been used and here as well the above linked home page is very helpful. The Duque de Veragua is made of 95% Airen and 5% Palomino grapes. Another interesting aspect is the 38% alcohol by volume (AVB). Many Brandies have 40% so this Brandy has a particular smooth mouth feeling. Really the only thing I could point out as a minus here is the availability in my neighborhood and if I could choose I would wish for an even longer finish. Maybe the more expensive Duque de Veragua Reserva would satisfy this need in me? 🙂 In any case this Duque de Veragua is really great stuff and I highly recommend it!!!