Wine of the week: An iconic and profound sherry

Tio Diego, Amontillado Valdespino, Jerez, Spain (£17.99, Lea & Sandeman, 020-7244 0522; Philglas & Swiggot, 020-7924 4494; Cooden Cellars, 01323-649663; Martinez Wines, 01943-600000).

The wonderful Patrick Sandeman’s memory lives on in the wines that he found for his UK clients over a period of three decades. I find myself ordering them in restaurants, buying them in wine shops and invariably writing them up in my columns.

Patrick’s tragic passing last year has left us all in the eternal aura of his vinous excellence and I have not forgotten the first time that he poured this wine for me 20 years ago. Many bottles later I decided to put Valdespino in my 100 Most Iconic Wines of the world book and Patrick was chuffed. You simply must taste this staggeringly serious Amontillado.

This Bodega makes the most profound of all sherries and Tio Diego is some 17 years old and one of the most elemental and exotic wines you could hope to enjoy.

If you love the lighter styles, too, then look no further than the Fino Inocente (£14.99 bottle, £8.49 half bottle, above merchants and also Noel Young, 01223-566744, and Halifax Wine Co, 01422-256333) and also the griping Manzanilla Deliciosa (£11.99, £6.99 half, all of the above plus The Flying Corkscrew, 01442-213155, and Shills of Station Street, 01900-826427). Legends all.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

Merryn

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