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Historically, Primitivo Quiles Fondillon was ca lled 'Vino Noble de Alicante' not only because it was enjoyed by royalty (Louis XIV is said to have enjoyed the wine) but also as an indication of a winemaking style that achieves 16% alcohol by volume without resorting to fortification of the wine with spirits as is done in Jerez.
Late harvest Monastrell is picked at ultimate ripeness and the sugars in the grape convert to alcohol at a higher rate than normally. After many years in the solera the wine loses its red color and turns a ruddy amber. Nutty sherry-like aroma and flavor balance gentle but not cloying sweetness. Serve this wine with afternoon cookies and tea. A small glass after dinner is also nice.
93 points, The Wine Advocate: "The 1948 Fondillon Gran Reserva is drawn from a solera begun in 1948 but the wine is not fortified. Dark amber/brown in color, it has aromas reminiscent of an Amontillado sherry including almonds, ginger, dates, and assorted dried dark fruits. It finishes sherry-like but without the alcohol and the bite. There is nothing else quite like this uniquely styled dry wine."
92 Points, The International Wine Cellar: "Orange-amber. Wild, complex aromas of dried red fruits, potpourri, mace and allspice, with suggestions of praline and floral honey. A bright and tangy note of blood orange buffers the sweet caramelized fruit and nut flavors and adds cut to long, clinging, subtly smoky finish. This singular drink should make a great companion to game or strong cheeses. Made from 100% monastrell, this wine carries residual sugar but, unlike a sherry, it isn't fortified."
Fondillon is a rarity and it's normally priced at $72. At $49.99, this is an absolute must have!
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