Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez

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numen
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Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez

Postby numen » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:01 pm

I picked up a 50mL sample of this, eager to give a Spanish brandy a shot. I've heard a few things about it, and they were generally good.

Nose: It's warm, rich, and rather dense. It has a definite spirity quality to it, but is more along the lines of sherry wine. There's a tremendous amount of grape, thick brown sugar, some plum and concentrated date juice. Very cooked, nearly burned raisins. There's some allspice and licorice in it. In the whirlpool of aromas, a note of slightly bitter orange extract emerged. Reminiscent, too, of a thick muscat dessert wine.

Palate: Medium body and a little sweet from the mid-to-tail end. Oh so syrupy in feel and taste. Condensed port wine and more muscat. Grape and luscious raisin clusters baked in a honeyed caramel. Spices and sweetness similar to mince pie filling.

Finish: The wine base, though truly thick and sweet, shines through. It's more on the fruit and fruit cake. It would be just as satisfying to lick it off your fingers. If you like Iberian dessert wines, you'll love this. A bit straightforward in profile, it's rich and big and sweet. The knock is that the finish reminded me a little of Manischewitz wine for the sweetness and sugar thread. All the same, it's B+/A- (89/90). It's fabulously inexpensive, too. I'm getting a bottle for around $35. It'll be like having a bottle of port that I can keep around for a long, long time.

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Re: Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez

Postby wouter » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:20 am

Sounds great, I don't have very good experiences with Brandies de Jerez so far, maybe I need to have a tasting of somewhat more expensive Jerez Brandies in the nearby future....

numen
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Re: Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez

Postby numen » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:34 pm

Hey Wouter,

I can certainly see how brandy de Jerez could be disappointing, saccharinely sweet and not too much finesse. I don't think that decent stuff need be very expensive (this bottle, for instance, would be just $35 or so), but it's definitely not like Cognac or even Armagnac. It really does seem like a concentrated dessert wine, rich and sweet. If anything is out of balance... even this reminded me a bit of cheap Manischewitz wine, which was not a good thing. Still, it could be worth a shot to try the stuff again


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