Posts Tagged ‘Lustau’

Visiting bodegas in Jerez

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Post

One of the reasons that I am not posting on a regular basis lately was that I was on vacation. ๐Ÿ™‚ And not just any place. Finally a little dream of mine came true and I was able to walk the magic halls of some of the finest bodegas in the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. Endless rows of solera style casks strung one after the other. Oloroso, Canasta, Fino and many other wines where stored and one of the things that stood out most for me, was that sweet scent of aged wine and wood that was in the air. This intriguing and intoxicating aroma reminded my of some of the best, old Brandies I have had and I immediately got caught up in it, never wanting to leave again.

Bodega Lustau

I was able to attend a guided tour of the Bodega Lustau. The history, tradition and knowledge there were really deeply impressive. The tour ended with the obligatory wine tasting (of course, no Brandies were included in the standard tasting). As I had to drive later that day, I passed on some of the drier wines just nosing a little. When it came to the sweeter Sherrys I did try some with the Lustau East Indian Solera being my favorite. Excellent stuff! A little dissapointment was that the in-house shop did not have anything special when it came to my beloved brandies. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lustau and all of their Brandies were present there. But I was kind of hoping that there would be something to find that you can only get right from the bodega and not anywhere else (later I found out that none of the bodegas I visited had something like that). Here I would like to give my respect to Manuel Lozano, the head enologist at Lustau. He obviously has a very special hand (,nose and palate) and is able to refine Lustaus wines and spirits into something very special. I certainly recommend a guided tour at Lustau!

Bodega Humbert William

Of course I was on the lookout for Brandies when visiting Jerez! Stuff that I did not know up until then or I was not able to get my hands on so far. On the one hand side I entered every shop I could find and asked for “especialidades” (not much to the pleasure of my family) and on the other hand I payed a visit to as much bodega shops I possibly could in the short time. The best visit of a bodega shop certainly was at Williams & Humbert (gotta love the Gran Duque d’Alba!). This was due to the simple fact that the shop was at the very end of a huge ‘almacen’ (warehouse) stocked with solera lines of casks. As I was on my own I pretty much had the chance to walk unguided through the warehouse, soaking up the atmosphere, the scent and the tradition. Truly amazing places that give the impression of cathedrals where your senses are lulled by the sweet smell of aging wine.

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At the end of the short trip we had to buy an additional suitcase to make space for all the bottles of Brandy. So it certainly was an eventful and successful hunt. ๐Ÿ™‚ As posted on my facebook page already, I brought back 11 Brandies. I left for Andalusia with a big list of Brandys that I had not tasted before and I only got two or three from that list. Many of the ones I bought I have not heard of before or did not know that this bodega makes a “gran gran reserva”, platinum or whatever name they give their finest of the fine. So some are very unique and precious and some simply just to good to pass on. As I already had some closed bottles at home I am now left with the cumbersome work to open all of them and write a tasting. What a terrible stress I will be putting myself through! Can’t wait. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lustau Solera Gran Reserva

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

The last of the three samples and this one is a classic Solera Gran Reserva. Not just a plain Solera but also no special filling.

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I have been taking my time to open this little bottle and because I liked the other Lustau’s so much my expectations were sky high. Smelling the brandy was not the most pleasent experience (hardly ever is with Brandy). Strong alcohol fumes penetrated the nose. But after another sniff or two it revealed some very nice and even elegant notes. And after all Brandy is for drinking and not for looking at it or just to take an occasional sniff.

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The “drinking experience” certainly was good. Again I was impressed with the full bodied distillate. It clearly showed its genes and as it remembered me a little bit about the Cardenal Mendoza I felt it is on par with the SGR Finest Selection. Very flavorful with dried fruits, caramel and even some hints of coffee beans.

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In short, another excellent Brandy from Lustau! They never failed to impress me so far.

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: LustauSGR

Lustau Solera Gran Reserva Finest Selection

Written by feltedhat on . Posted in Brandy Review

Finally got around to open the second bottle coming out of this Lustau trial package, this time it is the

Lustau Finest Selection which is a Solera Gran Reserva from Emilio Lustau S.A. in Jerez de la Frontera.

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The etiquette below the companys name is black with golden drawings and letters and right on the bottom of it it says ‘Finest Selection’. From the looks of it this is the darkest of the three if only just a tad bit darker than the regular Solera Gran Reserva.

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Already its smell is a giveaway. A rich Brandy almost overpowering. It is a little bit overly sweet and has somewhat of a short finish. That is if you really have to look for something negative (and I really had to look very hard). With its fruity body and candice sweetness overall it easily is on par with the rest of the top SGRs. I can relate to why it has gotten the best in class award.

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Another remarkable thing is that it really fits into the Lustau Brandy line. I was already impressed with the Solera Reserva and I love the Family Selection. And yet this one fits right and properly in between. Just another proof of the splendid craftsmen ship and know how at Emilio Lustau!

Again I would like to mention how much I like this trial package as I do feel that Brandy is underrated as it seemingly does not fit into todays broader taste. Not beeing sold in a hip bottle or beeing despised by Single Malt snobs it is important that Brandy is getting to the right target. So I feel it is a great thing to go out on the market with a package like this!

Well done, Lustau!

For more infos click on the tasting sheet: LustauSoleraGranReservaFinestSelection

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