Last night, my French lesson aka Spiral iplayer catch-up viewing ("Monsieur le Juge" etc.) was interrupted when G appeared clinking a Waitrose bag. Apparently there was a problem. It turned out that he had acquired some old sherry at a recent auction, which he had just collected, and the corks were on their last legs, so some urgent decanting into smaller bottles was required. And obviously some tasting was in order.
We started with this "Very Choice Sherry of Great Age and Quality, Alonso El Sabio" which as you can see from the label was bottled by Berry Bros. It's not clear when it was bottled or what age it is. A quick Google has revealed that Christies sold a bottle of 1973 solera back in 1992 but I don't think this is the same stuff. It had a lovely soft texture, and was quite dry with what G called a "concentrated vinosity". I got burnt walnuts and espresso on the palate and found it quite bitter on the finish, which was very long. G thought it was 19th century wine.
The second was this "Very Old Oloroso Sherry" bottled in 1971. This was distinctly sweeter and we could taste the Pedro Ximinez coming through. It was very mellow, smooth and had some toffee and chocolate as well as dried fruit. All in all, it was rich, dark nectar. We sat back and sipped it very slowly, feeling it doing us good. G thought this was probably late 19th / early 20th century wine. These kinds of sherry don't exist any more, I'm told. An unexpected treat for a Wednesday evening!