“Please don’t call it Sherry”, Maria Alvear pleaded to salespeople in a recent presentation. Maria and her family, Alvear, make wines (since 1729) similar in style to Sherry, but the grapes are grown in the Montilla region, not Xerez, the traditional home for Sherry. ” Amontillado wines developed from Montilla,” Maria noted. “People put the wines from Montilla on the Sherry list and the idea is that those were wines for old people.” These are wines for anyone who is young at heart and willing for new experiences.
Maria is a bright shining star on the wine trail showing wines from a great culture with loads of history, but not looking backwards. Very cool stuff, indeed. She comes to us courtesy of Jorge Ordoñez Selections, the Spanish wine visionary who has led the revolution in the perception of wines from Spain (very cool blog here: Victoria Ordoñez’s Musings of a Málaga wine goddess ).
Utilizing Pedro Ximénez grapes exclusively for their lineup, these are wines that harken back to mythic times, but are so in tune with today’s tastes and needs. Give them a try.
I ran into Maria today while she was out in the market working with the salespeople and was completely bowled over. Talk about unctuous floral, beauty, these wines are dry, nutty, full, rich sumptuous, sometimes heavily weighted with fruit. In a word – Gorgeous!
Folks will have their own favorites; I really liked all of them, but found the Alvear’s Fino and Alvear’s Cream to be a great wines for sipping. Mind you, these are not wines for the Unoaked Chardonnay crowd, they take a little introduction. But these are wines that will seduce you into falling in love with them. I personally have been in love with these wines all my adult life. And the good thing is, while I may not be getting any better, these wines are. So there is a reward at the end of the tunnel. And the oxidated, rich, gulpworthy wines of Alvear come highly recommended by this wine warrior.
These wines are priced way below their value. Comparable wines from France, Italy or California sell for 2-3 times. So a little investment in time and money and, you never know, you might find another reason to fall in love with wine. As if we needed any more excuses?