Contrabandista is a fantastic generous, friendly, round and long-aged Amontillado wine that is intended for the global wine lovers, it is like a slightly sweet Tío Diego. With an amontillado base, it is a Medium Dry that is not very sweet. It is made from a blend of Palomino fino grapes from the Macharnudo Alto Estate with mixed ageing (biological and oxidative), to which a touch of young Pedro Ximénez is added. With an average age of 18 years, it is tasty and perfect to accompany dishes with foie and intense creamy cheeses.
This medium dry Amontillado has a light mahogany colour with a bright amber border. The nose shows intense aromas of roasted hazelnuts, raisins and dates, coupled with notes of butterscotch and toffee. This wine is medium-bodied with a perfectly balanced sweetness and a long, smooth finish.
The Palomino grapes for the ‘Contrabandista’ are grown in the Pago Macharnudo – one of the top single-vineyard sites on the Jerez DO. At 135 metres above sea level, it is one of the highest altitude sites in the region and has a south-east aspect with a 10% gradient – perfect exposure for the Palomino to reach optimum levels of ripeness. Soils are white ‘albariza’ - rich in calcium carbonate, silica and clay. Albariza has excellent water retention properties and acts like a sponge, but it also forms a hard surface layer when it dries out, preventing evaporation. After the harvest, channels are dug between the vines to exploit these properties and trap the winter rains, creating a water reserve to sustain the vines through the heat of the Jerezano summers. The Pedro Ximénez grapes are sourced from the Montilla-Moriles region, which is further inland and hotter and drier than Jerez. After having been harvested, the PX grapes are raisined on esparto grass mats in the sun before they are vinified. The evaporation of water from the grapes concentrates the sugars, acids and flavours.