All finos develop under the veil of flor and this is evident on the nose of this wine, showing its bready, yeasty character. This Especial shows typical hints of yeast, but is fuller and rounder on the palate than the regular Panesa bottling.
Wine Spectator 92 points - Shows lots of range, featuring singed persimmon, dried nectarine, walnut and green tea notes, with a long bitter almond note on the finish. A big fino with invigorating acidity. Drink now.—J.M. (Jul 31 2013)
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This Fino sherry is ”especial” because it comes from a special part of the bodega sourced from a very small selection of barrels within the solera. Like all the selections in the Hidalgo cellars, the Panesa Especial was identified as having unique properties by Manuel Nieves, cellar master, and his predecessors over 50 years ago. Made from 100% Palomino, the wine ages under flor for an average of 15 years, several years longer than the vast majority of finos. The flor is kept alive so long with infusions of young Sherry and added nutrients, but as it thins towards the end of its life, a light oxidation takes place. This extra aging shows in La Panesa’s brilliant gold color and exceptional depth of flavor.
100% Palomino de Jerez
Hidalgo has had the same cellar master, or capataz, for the past five decades, continuing the artisanal ways of the winery. An expert at managing the house”s various soleras, he employs a system of fractional blending, using smell and taste to monitor development and to create Hidalgo”s famously complex Sherries. In the great tradition of Jerez, Hidalgo”s winemaker is the capataz of the winery. Yet, he is more of a caretaker of the wine. Hidalgo wine develops in-barrel, while he oversees and guides this development. Historically, a capataz hones his skill rising through the ranks, learning what different types of wines ”should” smell and taste like, according to house style. Hidalgo”s current capataz is Manuel Nieves. Raised in Jerez, he learned much from his father, who also was a capataz. Manuel came to Hidalgo in 1959, and, as is the tradition, he learned the trade from his predecessor. He became Hidalgo”s capataz in 1972 and has continued to produce the same level of high-quality wine for which Hidalgo has been known. Upon his retirement, his son, Manuel Jesus Nieves, is slated to replace him. Since taking his licentiature in Chemistry in 2004 from the University of Cadiz, Manuel Jesus has worked full time as Hidalgo”s oenologist and apprentice winemaker. Prior to that he spent many summers working in the winery and picking grapes during harvest. New times require new methods, and Manuel Jesus brings a modern scientific touch to Hidalgo”s traditional method of wine production.
This wine can stand up to fuller-flavored dishes such as salmon a la plancha, sesame-seared ahi tuna, or gazpacho.
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