50Cl Oloroso Seco Faraon, Bodegas Hidalgo
The Hidalgo Oloroso Seco is dark amber with an aroma of walnuts and has an almost exotic smooth, velvety flavour and texture with an underlying flavour of pine nuts. It is dry but with a hint of creamy roundness, acquired from long ageing in 'botas'. This wine is made from the pressed grapes as opposed to the free-run juice used for Finos, Amontillados and Manzanillas. This greater skin contact produces a slightly more tannic style. The flor is prevented from growing in Olorosos by the addition of a higher dose of alcohol at the very beginning. This means an Oloroso is oxidised from the very start of its life.
Founded in 1792 by Don Jose Pantaleon Hidalgo, this is one of the oldest sherry companies and today, is run by Javier Hidalgo from the original premises in the centre of Sanlucar de Barrameda, situated at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. Vinicola Hidalgo is one of only a handful of bodegas that remains independent and totally family controlled and our initial tasting of their sherries was a real eye-opener. Theirs are real sherries made from old soleras and are the product of an 'artisan-craftsman' ethos, with all the grapes sourced from their own vineyards situated on 'albariza' soils in Balbaina and Miraflores, two of the very best Jerez DOCs. Wine-making is very traditional and all the Hidalgo sherries are matured in American-oak 'botas', something which is becoming rarer and rarer.
Faraon is the Andalucian word for the head of a gypsy clan.