Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana, Amontillado Seco Napolen, Sanlcar de Barrameda, Spain 50cl bottle (£11.50, Ellis Wharton Wines, 01726 825255, www.ewwines.co.uk; £11.95, Noel Young Wines, 01223-566744, www.nywines.co.uk).
Certain Mazanilla sherries, during the ageing process when the wine is slumbering in butts of American oak which form part of the time-honoured solera system, just don't taste like the others. These rare barrels have a deeper, nuttier, figgy flavour, and so they are removed from the process and kept apart to age oxidatively, and they are known as Amontillados.
I adore this style of wine. It is bone dry, stunningly aromatic, mahogany coloured, headily flavoured and bitingly savoury. During the Peninsula War, the Hidalgo family cleverly sold their wines to both the French and British sides, so it's only fair that today they make a Jerez Cortado called Wellington and also this delicious Amontillado Seco named after his opponent!
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Chill it down just a few degrees and drink it with grouse (after you've deglazed the roasting pan with half a glass). This is an exceptional food and wine combo. Try it with charcuterie, rillettes, pte and mature hard cheese again serious matches. This noble and exceptionally well-priced wine is a quintessential autumnal flavour, and if you have never tasted it, then you will not believe your taste buds.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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