Cesar Florido Moscatel Dorado (375ML half-bottle)
This sweet dessert sherry opens to a nose of orange blossom, honeysuckle, and salted caramel. Flavors of roasted walnuts and caramelized sugar permeate a long and layered finish.
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César Florido was founded in 1887 and is currently maintained by César Florido, a fifth-generation descendant of the founder. The winery is the oldest bodega in the town of Chipiona, located five miles from Sanlúcar de Barrameda along the road which continues to Rota. César Florido is one of only two bodegas in Chipiona that are still operating outside of the cooperative.
Chipiona, famous for having the tallest lighthouse in Spain, is an area dedicated to growing the moscatel grape, but most of the wine produced here is sold in bulk to the Sherry houses of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. César Florido, by contrast, is one of the few bodegas that is estate bottling and who presses his own mosto, or base wine, from family vineyards planted to palomino fino, as well as purchased grapes from long-time growers. Utilizing native-yeast fermentation, César crafts wines of incredible personality.
A longtime almacenista, César began estate bottling in 1988 and recently has emerged from obscurity to cult status for his enthralling range of wines which are uniquely Chipiona and have become among the best in the zone. He makes some of the most singular wines in the area, sought out by true believers in César.
He owns three separate bodegas in the town of Chipiona, one of which houses his iconic Cruz del Mar fino solera, just 50 meters from the ocean. With the closest proximity to the sea of any bodega in the region, his wines are imbued with the very spirit of this maritime climate through year-round, thick, luxurious flor. His fino is made from estate-grown palomino from Balbaína and Miraflores. Paired with fresh oysters or tiburon frito, Cruz del Mar is a guaranteed gastronomic supernova. His amontillado and oloroso bottlings are some of the best in class and as with the fino, everything here leads you back to the ocean and that incredible flor. The rare palo cortado aged in solera for forty years, Peña del Aguila, is César Florido’s Sacristía wine: a very rare, private wine bottled in tiny quantities.
Known more formally as Jerez de la Frontera, Jerez is a city in Andalucía in southwest Spain and the center of the Jerez region and sherry production. Sherry is a mere English corruption of the term Jerez, while in French, Jerez is written, Xérès. Manzanilla is the freshest style of sherry, naturally derived from the seaside town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.