Alvear - Fino en Rama 2003

Bodegas Alvear has been talked about on Catavino a few times now. For awhile, I have a considered them one of the best values in Spanish wine. Located in DO of Montilla Moriles, they produce sherry-esque wines from one grape, Pedro Ximenez. I’m not going to go into the whole history of both the region and the grape being that we’ve covered this topic rather thoroughly; instead, I want to share a tasting note on the newest vintage of their wine Fino en Rama. What makes this wine unique is that it is made in the solera system – a traditional way of aging wine that requires fractional blending of vintages, and yet this is a vintage as a result of the grapes only being from 2003. Full disclosure, this wine was a sample sent by the winery, though I have to say this has been one of my favorite favorite wines for many years. Regardless of my mood, it never fails to place a smile on my face, and with the weather heating up here in Terrassa, yesterday was the perfect time to pop open this new vintage. Full notes at the end of the post, but in a nutshell, I found this vintage to be not as quite as delicate as the 2002. This by no means makes this any less of a value for the dollar, but the 2002 had an etherealness that I find is missing here. Still this is a wine that I believe retails for around 8 euros, and for that money, it’s an INCREDIBLE treat.

On a hot day, grab a bottle of this wine, some olives and salted nuts, and find yourself the shade of a tall tree where you can sit back and enjoy the perfect expression of a PX wine. If you feel the need for a siesta as you sit there, just make sure to put the wine on ice so that it’s ready when you wake up and find yourself a bit parched. Wine like this is meant to meld into the landscape of the moment, only reminding you of its presence as its spirit lifts yours.


Ryan Opaz

  • Ryan’s Note: 2003 Alvear Montilla-Moriles PX Fino “En Rama” – Spain, Andalucía, Montilla-Moriles (6/20/2007)
    Light pale gold in color. Cantelope nose with faint honey notes, light honeydew and white grape hints. Pure and only at the beginning showing a bit of caramel. In the mouth this is a soft wine with a medium to high acidity that is bright and alive. Light salt air on the palate followed by melons, delicate peach and white grape. With some time there is a grassiness that seems to relate to the flor that once protected this fine wine. Full finish that lingers, but pulls you back sooner than expected.
    4 grape
  • Gabriella’s Note: 2003 Alvear Montilla-Moriles PX Fino “En Rama” – Spain, Andalucía, Montilla-Moriles (6/20/2007)
    Nice light golden tone with a strong bouquet of both cantelope melon and almond with a hit of woodiness right near the end. The palate has that salty and creamy quality that I find typical to most finos, but differentiates itself by the strong lemon and almond flavors on the finish. When we first opened it right out of fridge, I have to say that I wasn’t an enormous fan, but as it warmed up, I found it quite pleasant, much better with tapas, but enjoyable on its own.
    3.5 grape
Ryan Opaz

Ryan Opaz

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