Three lovely Palo Cortado sherries

Sherry gives me a lot of pleasure. Here are three Palo Cortados that I’ve had open for a while. I did a contemplative comparative tasting of them. All quite different, but all thoroughly lovely.

Paolo Cortado starts life as a fino, but then the flor dies. It’s fortified up to a higher strength (18%, typically) and then aged oxidatively. Amontillado also starts life as a fino and then is fortified to a higher strength; the difference is that with Palo Cortado, the flor dies of its own accord. Palo Cortado is a sherry sweet spot for me: they always seem to deliver.

Bodegas Tradicion 30 Years VORS Palo Cortado
Deep bronze colour. Amazingly tangy nose with complex lifted old furniture notes. The palate has concentrated citrus peel flavours with old casks and almonds. Great acidity. Complex, fresh, savoury and mind-blowing. 96/100

Emilio Hidalgo Marques de Rodil Especial Palo Cortado
Sealed with a high-quality driven natural cork. I wish more sherries were sealed this way. Complex, smooth, nutty citrus peel nose. Mellow and elegant with some salty, tangy notes. Lovely texture: supple and balanced. Not so much about power, but really elegant. 94/100

Harveys 30 Years VORS Palo Cortado
Brown/bronze colour. Rich and powerful with notes of spice and treacle, nuts and old casks. The palate is rich, concentrated and tangy with powerful flavours of nuts, citrus peel, tar, treacle and lanolin. Real flavour impact here: not elegant, but delicious. 94/100

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3 comments to Three lovely Palo Cortado sherries

  • I would love a couple of recommendations which would do well in the tropics, be great to list sherry in my bar in the British Virgin Islands!

  • Justin Roberts

    Giles, you could not go far wrong with well chilled Fino or Manzanilla…

  • I had the opportunity to taste at Bodegas Tradicion. The Palo Cortado is definitely mind-blowing. They also had a 30 Years VORS Amontillado that was surprisingly, even better than the Palo Cortado. Great bodega, producing some top quality stuff for bargain prices.

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