Early November I started a series to support the drinking of sherry to get more good sherry casks for the whisky industry. For reasons not even science can wholly explain, I picked PX Sherries as a starting point. As mentioned before, PX or Pedro Ximénez is the most syrupy and sweet Sherry around, and is considered an after dinner Sherry or one to accompany a nice (sweet) dessert. Goes well with ice-cream.
Emilio Lustau was founded in 1896 by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo who was an Almacenista himself. He made Sherries and stored them for a while, after which he sold them off to larger companies, thus adding value. In 1940, his son-in-law and name-giver for the company, Don Emilio Lustau Ortega moved the Bodega to the old quarter of Jerez. Since then the company wanted to be the best and expanded by offering high quality Sherries.
This “San Emilio” PX (17% ABV) is from the Solera Reserva range which has it’s heritage in the original Stocks of Don José Ruiz-Berdejo. His stocks were combined with special Sherries from different “Almacenistas”, small independent wine-producers. Besides this Solera Reserva range, where casks of the same type of Sherries are blended, there is also a very interesting Almacenista range. In this series, Lustau selects small batches of high quality sherries which have been made and matured by small independent producers, or “Almacenistas”, who often make Sherries as a hobby.
Color: Almost black mahogany.
Nose: Very elegant syrupy Sherry which has a nice dry whiff of paper over it. Grassy with cloves. Dried apricot and raisins, also a more spicy element which you get when putting parsley in broth. A hint of yeast and/or flor (Marmite), so not only syrupy and sweet. For me also hints of lavas.
Taste: Sweet (sometimes sugary), but accompanied by a nice acidic touch, which is a great effect on the palate. The acidity reminds me a bit of the lemon part of cola. Yes the apricots are there and some vibrant freshly made raisins and maybe some dates. Very lively and never dull, heavy or dusty.Very well balanced. Actually, this is blended so well to a nice harmony, that it’s almost hard and not even fair to look for separate markers or hints of it. The sum is so great.
Easily a favourite of mine when looking at PX Sherries. Excellent and an easy recommendation. Oops, another “San Emilio” finished…Next bottle!