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EMILIO LUSTAU S.A. (Almacenistas and VORS) - Fact sheet

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Owner
Luis Caballero S.A., a family-owned company based in El Puerto de Santa Maria
Size of the Vineyards
Lustau own 220 hectares, composed of the two vineyards of Montegilillo and Benito. They also have longstanding contracts with the most quality-conscious independent grapegrowers.
Location of the Vineyards
The offices and principal soleras are located in Jerez de la Frontera, in beautiful and historic bodegas entirely refurbished after their purchase from Harveys. There are further bodegas in Sanlucar de Barrameda (for the Manzanillas), and in El Puerto de Santa Maria, home of the renowned Puerto Fino solera. In addition, Lustau have contracts with the best Almacenistas, the traditional stockholders whose small cellars are hidden in the backstreets of Jerez, Sanlucar and El Puerto.
The main estate vineyard is Montegilillo, 15 kms to the north, but quality grapes are purchased from growers throughout the Jerez DO.
Soil
The classic 'albariza' of Jerez - a brilliant white chalky soil.
Grape Varieties
Rare Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Dry Oloroso: 100% Palomino Fino
Pedro Ximinez: 100% Pedro Ximinez
Average production
Production is limited by the size of each solera, because only a limited proportion can be drawn off for bottling each year.
Vinification and ageing
The Rare Amontillado began life as a fino, ageing a number of years under flor. When the flor finally died, the wine took on a darker colour and full, nutty taste. The Dry Oloroso lost its flor quickly, and underwent lengthy oxidative aging, giving it an extraordinary richness in colour and body, and a complex bouquet. Palo Cortado is a rare style, combining the weight of an oloroso with the more delicate nose of an amontillado. The Pedro Ximinez is a sweet sherry made from superripe PX grapes, and was also subject to extended oxidative ageing.

The Lustau 2000 bottlings are a selection of the best cask of each style in the bodega. They come from soleras established a very long time ago, and even the youngest wine in the blend is at least 20 years old.

The brandy is from a single cask laid down in 1977. Aged in American oak which had previously been used for sherry, the brandy has developed amazing concentration and complexity in the intervening 22 years. The vinegar is even older - 25 years old in fact. It is made from old oloroso sherry.
Tasting notes
Rare Amontillado: Light amber in colour with perfect, jewel clarity. Aromas of wood and ripe fruit. Pungent and full-bodied, dry and nutty, yet with fruitiness and clean acidity, which lingers on the palate. A perfect dry aperitif, with nuts, olives or cheese. To revive an almost lost gastronomic tradition, serve with a soup course, particularly game soups, or with a foie-gras starter. This wine will also match up to spicy, oriental cuisine.

Palo Cortado: Dark, brilliant old gold. Pungent and complex aromas, of which perhaps the bouquet of raisins predominates. On the palate nuts, followed by vanilla, and ending with smooth, dry fruit. A finely balanced wine, with great fullness, yet exquisite finesse. Serve as a dry aperitif, with cured ham, nuts and olives. Can also be served with rich or spicy starters, with game or red meats, or at the end of the meal with the cheese selection.

Dry Oloroso: Dark amber gold in colour. The wine has concentrated, pungent aromas of smoky wood and dried fruits. On the palate, the wine is intense, powerful, rich and mellow, with flavours reminiscent of walnuts and bitter chocolate. Serve at cool room temperature as a rich, dry aperitif, with olives and nuts, with matured cheeses; this old oloroso wine can also be served with game dishes such as pheasant and venison, at the end of a meal with the cheese board, or simply as a dry digestif to meditate over.

Pedro Ximinez: This wine will remind you of black treacle. Thick and viscous, with an olive green rim, it is sumptuously mouth-filling with a licorice richness, packed full of sweet, sweet raisins, and impressively long on the palate. The ultimate dessert wine, serve with rich, even chocolate sweets, Christmas fare, nuts, blue and strong cheeses.
Marketing
These are unrepeatable bottlings, offered by Lustau to their loyal customers. With only one cask of each available, availability is very limited.
Notes on the property
What is now Emilio Lustau SA was founded in 1896 by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo. It was a modest beginning: Don José cultivated the vines of his estate of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera, stored the wines in his vineyard house and later sold them to one of the big exporting bodegas. He was, in fact, an Almacenista. In the 1940s, his son-in-law Don Emilio Lustau Ortega moved the bodega to the ancient Santiago district in the heart of the old city. There, in buildings which formed part of the historic Moorish walls of the city, he expanded the business slowly, still retaining his role as an Almacenista. From the 1950s onwards the firm became Emilio Lustau SA, and its size enabled it to join the select group of exporters of Sherry. Later, from the early 1980s, Emilio Lustau SA, now under the management of the late Rafael Balao, became one of the most creative companies in Jerez.

Rafael Balao realised that Lustau's place had to be at the forefront of quality. His ideas, combining tradition with innovation, paved the way for Lustau to become, today, "The Definitive Quality Sherry House." A collection of Almacenista Sherries, drawing on rare and marvellous wines held by the stockholders, were chosen and offered to selected customers. These wines are some of the finest Sherries made. The Lustau Solera Reserva range of fine old Sherries was created, drawing on stocks of wines held by Lustau since its beginnings as an almacenista. The tradition of the East India Solera was revived, and other unique sherry styles developed, such as the single vintage Rich Oloroso.

In 1990, the fortunes of Emilio Lustau SA changed dramatically, when the famous El Puerto de Santa Maria Sherry and.spirits company of Luis Caballero SA, producer of Ponche Caballero, Spain's largest selling liqueur, took a major shareholding. This gave Emilio Lustau considerable and secure financial backing, and the chance to develop and expand. It also brought into the company 170 hectares of fine Albariza vineyard land at Montegilillo in the Jerez Superior region to the north of Jerez. The involvement of Luis Caballero SA in the firm of Emilio Lustau has meant that further emphasis is being placed on fine Fino Sherries. All the Sherry interests of the Caballero group are now under the Lustau banner. That includes the considerable stocks of Puerto Fino held in the bodegas at El Puerto de Santa Maria, which form the basis of Lustau Finos. Here, in the Caballero bodegas, more innovation is in progress. A unique Double Flor system of refreshing the wine just before bottling preserves the freshness of Fino in the bottle. This means that the Puerto Fino of Lustau is now one of the most reliable - and freshest - Finos on the market.

Since 1988, Lustau have used their own individual bottle shape for all their wines. The elegant, dark bottle, with sloping shoulders is unique to the company, setting Lustau Sherries apart from others and reflecting the very special quality of these wines.