Williams & Humbert Collection 12 Year Old Amontillado Sherry

Tasting notes
Brilliant hues of old gold and amber. Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of the fino sherry it had once been and a hint of dried nuts and filberts. Dry, with excellent acidity; a long, full-bodied and elegant palate. A delightfully expressive and unforgettable finish. An excellent aperitif and perfect with cheese, ham or seafood.

Why we recommend this wine
We spent a week in Cadiz in the tapas bars (well, not the whole time, we also visited the bodegas) and loved this sherry to wind up the evening.

The wine
Amontillado starts its life as a fino sherry. Palomino grapes from W&H’s best vineyards are first fermented normally and then filtered before being selected by quality. They are fortified to 15º ABV with distilled wines before being put into the classical Jerez Criaderas y Soleras system of American oak casks where the biological ageing takes place under a layer of yeast. After aging for at least 8 years the sherry is fortified again to 18º ABV to kill the flor and transferred to the 3rd criadera for an additional 4 years of natural ageing by oxidation. It is then removed for bottling.

The wine estate
Bodegas Williams & Humbert was founded in 1877 by Sir Alexander Williams, a great admirer and connoisseur of sherry products, and Arthur Humbert, a specialist in international relations. The name is now used by the Medina family for all their sherry interests.
Bodegas Williams & Humbert own 250 hectares of vineyard in the Añina and Carrascal pagos or the vineyard zones where Palomino is the most traditional and predominant variety. It has been used for centuries since it arrived in the sixteenth century in the hands of Flemish troops. “Palomino fino”, the most commonly used clone is well adapted to the chalky Albariza soils and the local climate and is resistant to parasites when cultivated correctly.
Albariza soil has amazing ability to retain humidity. It is a soil of great porosity and lightness, something of great importance for the root system of the vine and for the accumulation of water in the form of humidity as would a sponge, without waterlogging or saturation. This Albariza soil has a high limestone content and has a low level of organic material, which means that full development of the vine is achieved simply by the correct application of fertilizer.

Food and wine
It goes particularly well with white meat, a beef consommé, chorizo, medium-heavy cheese or a paté. Also see our guide to pairing food and wine here. The ideal temperature at which to serve an Amontillado is around 12ºC.

Did you know?
"The Cask of Amontillado" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in the November. 1846 The story, set in an Italian city at carnival time, is about a man taking deadly revenge on a friend who, he believes, has insulted him. In keeping with the 19th-century fascination with the subject, the narrative revolves around a person being buried alive – in this case, by immurement. Fortunato, the unfortunate who was immured, had a weak point – he prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. He was lured to his end by his friend saying that he had bought “a pipe of what passes for Amontillado”.