Tag Archives: Chocolate raisins

Getting out of my comfort zone and into something so insanely magnificent, I had to write about it – Bodegas Valdespino’s Cardenal VORS Palo Cortado Sherry


Region – Spain – ABV – 22%

Cardenal Palo Cortado VORS (Valdespino)Guys. Gals. I’m headed in a fast and downward spiral into the world of sherry.

I’m in the rabbit hole.

I really hope others will join me. It’s an amazing world of flavors for us all to explore.

I’ve enjoyed my fair share of sherries (say that 3 times real fast) over the past 10 years or so but, as of late, I now find myself craving the Spanish fortified wine.

Cardenal Palo Cortado VORS (Valdespino)Normally, when one starts writing reviews for this or that product, they’ll start at the Chevy or Ford of that respective product.

I decided to begin with the Volvo P1800 of sherry.

This sherry I’m about to review is bad ass and one can spend forever and a day enveloped in its loveliness.

I could go into the details of various sherry types, how it’s made, etc… but I am no expert. If you want to know more, please be sure to visit sherrynotes.com

Bodegas Valdespino’s Cardenal VORS Palo Cortado Sherry:

On the nose — Absolutely amazing smelling. It noses a bit like a heavily sherried whisky.

Bodegas Valdespino’s Cardenal VORS Palo Cortado SherryGood oaky backbone with hints of menthol floating above notes of buckwheat syrup, crushed black peppercorns, toasted almond and coconut, damp autumn leaves, burnt pie crusts, toasted raw grain sprouted bread.

Magnificent. A perfect nose.

Bodegas Valdespino’s Cardenal VORS Palo Cortado SherryIn the mouth — Dry on the palate and intensely rich front to mid palate with lightening fast tones of fresh black grapes, oak chests you’ve inherited from your great-great grand father, coconut milk, treacle, licorice nibs and a mere hint of coal dust.

Bodegas Valdespino’s Cardenal VORS Palo Cortado SherryThe mouthfeel is lightly oiled. Kaffir (lime) leaves are noted on the 2nd sip and now I’m discovering just how salty this sherry is.

Building umami, chocolate covered raisins.

Finish — Rich and salty with lasting notes of menthol and mixed, roasted nuts.

In sum — As mentioned above, I’ve been dabbling in sherries for the past 10 years or more and this is easily the best sherry of it’s style I’ve ever had. Worth seeking out and shelling out a few shekels.


Arran 8yo Single Sherry Cask #1536, bottled by Arran

Islands region – 59.3%ABV – Somewhere around $75

Spring is here, spring is here!!

G-d damn it if this winter didn’t beat the crap out of me (and anyone else living in the North East of the good ‘ol US of A).

I kid you not when I tell you that at one point this winter we had a snow bank at the end of our driveway that was higher than 10 ft (for those folks who use the metric system, that’s a shit tonne of centimeters!).  Storm after storm, foot after foot of snow, shovel after shovel, vertebrae after vertebrae breaking work… Oy.

Thankfully, the storms of 2010/early 2011 are now a not-to-distant memory and we can (I can) finally move on.  Passover, for us, brought about a good deal of spring cleaning (inside & out of the house) which is still going on but, it feels fantastic!  The warm sun hitting this t-shirted bloke feels right good!

The flowers are popping, there’s a new scent in the air brought about by the various flora that surrounds my woodsy/swampy area.  A combination of scents, really — Wafts of skunk cabbage, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, dandelions, pollen (times a gazillion), chainsaw oil, armpit sweat, sunblock… it’s all in the air and it’s LOVELY!

Spring has a good way of making one feel anew.  I don’t know about you but all winter long I felt as if I was just doing what I could to survive through it.

Like a snake, the spring time allows you to feel as if you can shed the recent past and start again with new skin.  Maybe this year will be different, somehow better than last year.  That, of course, is not something you can just hope on.  You have to work to make that come true.  But perhaps the feeling of this new season might help to give you that strength.  Forge ahead, embrace life and cling on (Klingon) to the unexpected for it’s what helps us all to live.  Not survive but live.

Arran single sherry cask #1536:

ColorOversteeped tea with a slight ruby hue to it.  Lighter than expected given the fact that this has spent all it’s life in a sherry cask (2nd fill perhaps?).

On the noseFragrant, flowery, salty and slightly dusty and woody (sort of like an old church pew type note).

Actually, the more I nose it the more dust I detect.  Really dusty stuff…

Fruity too (think red plum without the tart).

Chocolate covered raisins.

On the mouthVery juicy entry, nice hot attack without losing the flavor.

Think of a red fruit and, it’s in there.

This is insanely sweet and fruity.

None of the dust I got on the nose.

Notes of lime and even a touch of mint (a fun little combination of flavors).

A very different sherry matured whisky profile.

FinishLots of lime of the finish – like a lime ricky.  Very long.

In sumThe fruits and raisins on the nose were nice but I found the dusty element to be almost overpowering.  It’s all about the taste and finish with this one.  Flavorwise, this was delicious; one to enjoy with an assortment of desserts.  If you’re going to go sweet, go all the way baby!