Spanish Wine Review: Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado

by mary on May 4, 2013

Spanish wine: great Amontillado sherry from Lustau

Some of my top Spanish wine experiences have been with sherries, but it’s also just as important to find the great value, every day sherries. The Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado is a delicious example of a great sherry to enjoy, sip and cook with. Once you start cooking with and trying sherry with food, you will never go back….it’s one of the most food friendly wines around. Amontillado is the perfect Sherry style for summer cooking and drinking. The tangier, edgier Fino style can be an acquired taste, while Oloroso has a winter feel to it. Amontillado, especially a really friendly, soft one like the Los Arcos is the perfect wine compromise. A complex, fresh, unique wine for only about 15$!

Lustau is an amazing winery to visit…it’s a bit off the typical tourist track in the city of Jerez, but well worth making an appointment to visit. They have a huge range of wines, from more commercial larger production lines to the amazing almacenista line, special bottlings of small producers top flight sherries. There is a large range in pricing and all the wines are good value at their price point. Luckily they have always been very well placed in the US market, so many of their wines are easy to find here.

The Los Arcos is from the Solera Reserva line, the basic line, but which has some excellent wines.

The amontillado style is a sherry that has been partially aged under “flor” or a yeast covering that gives the dryer styles, such as fino their distinct, tangy salinity. In the case of Amontillado, the flor is eventually allowed to die off, and the wine finishes aging exposed to oxygen in the typical oxidative style of heavier sherry styles such as Oloroso. So Amontillado is really a combination of the characteristics of both Fino and Oloroso….this makes it a very versatile and attractive sherry style.

Though the label says dry, there is a touch of sweetness to the the Los Arcos Amontillado. This makes it an easy introductory amontillado as it softens some of the sharper edges that older wines can have. There is still a nice lightness and some tanginess from it’s time under flor, but it also has some hazelnut and dried orange peel notes from it oxidative aging.

Spanish wine: amontillado sherry

When served a bit chilled, 55-58F or 13-14C, the Los Arcos is round, smooth, a bit tangy and refreshing, but also with some good depth and length. Very attractive. Here it is served in a pretty sherry glass!

Great value and a lovely everyday sherry. Try it with any cheese and meat platter, pâtés, hot or cold soups, shellfish, fried foods….or just sip it on it’s own like I did yesterday!


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