© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Alvear's Cream Montilla ($8.99)
Montilla, an inland province in Andalusia in Southern Spain, shares the geology of nearby Jerez and produces fortified wines quite similar to its neighbor's Sherries. (In fact, the style of Sherry called Amontillado is said to derive its name from the words for "in the style of Montilla.") Because Montilla isn't well-known in the U.S. (and judging from the very old-fashioned label, not aggressively marketed to the rest of the world), its wines tend to be remarkably affordable, and they are fine. This one's a clear, dark amber color, with lovely nutlike aromas, almonds and pecans, with nuances of stone fruit. Full and sweet, its flavors follow the nose; subtle toasted almonds and lemon-squirt acidity hold the full fruit sweetness in balance. A fine after-dinner wine by any standard, and doubly so at the low-end price. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Cincinnati. (Dec. 15, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: After-dinner sipping.
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