Emilio Lustau "East India" Cream Sherry, Spain (750ml)

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Description

This is one of those wines that is universally appealing. It's always great to see people's reaction once they swallow a sip of this delicious elixir. For those who don't "understand" or care about Sherry, this will change your mind. East India is a cream style Sherry that is more Port-like with the richest flavor, highest residual sugar and corresponding alcohol levels of any Sherry. It gains its weight and depth from the blending of separately solera aged Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez that goes through a secondary aging process in a different 33 barrel solera with more intense humidity and higher temperatures. The wine purposely experiences this elevated environment to mimic the conditions under which and after which the style got its name, East India. In the 17th century, large wooden casks of Sherry would ride on cargo ships leaving Spain en route her far flung colonies and once the wine arrived at its destination it had turned a dark, opaque color and gained additional complexity of flavors and sweetness, essentially becoming a new style of Sherry. Thus, the name East India. Wonderfully concentrated aromas and flavors of mocha, chocolate, toffee, nuts and raisins, this sherry is mouth filling and mouth coating, succulent, unctuous and sublime. What is the "solera" system? Essentially, it's a tiered system of barrel ageing that blends newer and older aged wines together to create a consistent "house" style for the various types of sherry. There are three general styles of Sherry starting with Fino or Manzanilla being the driest, lowest in alcohol and lightest in color, followed by Amontillado and Oloroso which can have some residual sugar, are higher in alcohol, darker in color and more complex from longer barrel ageing, and finally Cream Sherries which have the highest residual sugar and the richest flavor. Lustau was founded in 1896 and today has vineyards and soleras in all three Sherry production towns in the "triangle" of Jerez. They produce wines in all Sherry styles and proudly indicate the "Almacenista" (or small independent grower and producer who sell their cultivated barrels to bigger houses) on all their labels.

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