Whether you are already a sherry aficionado, or just looking to try something new, it’s time to get acquainted with Bodegas Lustau. Made with grapes grown in the renowned vineyards of the Jerez area of Spain, Lustau sherry is the industry’s gold standard – and for good reason.
Founded in 1896 by a court clerk named Mr. José Ruiz-Berdejo, Bodegas Lustau got its start with winemaking and began exporting sherry in 1950. Still located in the center of town in Jerez de la Frontera, Lustau sherry is produced by aging the wines in American oaks casks using a dynamic Solera and Criadera method. With this system, the older wines benefit from the freshness of the younger ones, while the younger wines benefit from the characteristics acquired after years of aging – yielding a variety of high-quality expressions.
And what better way to enjoy Lustau sherry than with complementary dishes? Check out the guide below and give these expressions all a try – with the perfectly paired bites.
Lustau Solera Reserva Fino Jarana
The lightest of dry sherries, Lustau Solera Reserva Fino Jarana sherry is a dry aperitif – aged in American oak casks in the traditional Soleras y Criaderas system in Jerez de la Frontera – ideal for pairing with fresh seafood, smoked salmon and fish, as well as with Ibérico ham. Also: try the Fino with light Japanese cuisine, like sushi or sashimi.
“Jarana is a lovely, proper fino with a nose of iodine, lemon blossom and popcorn,” Wine Enthusiast has said. “The palate is staunch and doesn’t back down; the high-toned nut and citrus flavors seem classic and elevated. And the finish is intense and frames everything in walnut oil and toast”
Suggested Retail Price:$13-$16; usually found in Wine Shops and Liquor Stores
Lustau Solera Reserva Amontillado Los Arcos
A dry sherry aged biologically and oxidatively for an average of 8 years in American oak casks, Lustau Solera Reserva Amontillado Los Arcos goes extremely well with a vast array of foods including smoked fish, mature cheeses, white meats, bluefish and spicy dishes. This is the best-known wine for pairing savory and umami dishes.
“The Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Solera Reserva reveals a medium amber hue along with a nutty, honeyed, dry personality with great acid,” expressed Robert Parker in Wine Advocate.
Suggested Retail Price:$15-$16
Lustau Solera Reserva Oloroso Don Nuño
This dry sherry – oxidative aged in American oak casks in the traditional Solera and Criaderas system – can be perfectly matched with even the most complex and sophisticated dishes. Mature cheeses, game, or stews help bring out the full potential of this wine. Enjoying a grilled red tuna steak? Step it up with an Oloroso to turn a fine meal into a wonderful experience.
“Toffee and baked brown sugar aromas provide a nice opening in this wine,” Wine Enthusiast has said. “It’s fresh and fearless, with popping acidity and layered flavors. Salty dried apricot and orange notes end with a dash of brine and a pecan hint.”
Suggested Retail Price:$20-$22
Lustau East India Solera
A blend of dry and sweet wines, the Lustau East India Solera is one to try. With this sherry, two very distinct wine styles – Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez – are aged separately in their own solera for 12 years. Once blended, the resulting sherry is returned to a 43-cask solera for an additional 3 years of aging. In centuries gone by, casks with sherry were lashed to ships sailing for the Indies and after the voyage were found to develop an extraordinary smoothness and complexity. Lustau has revived this style of sherry in East India.
The personality of this sherry complements the intensity of foie gras; it also pairs amazingly with blue cheeses, chocolate desserts and smooth ice creams, too.
“This is a ripe, honeyed style of Sherry with deep brown sugar and cinnamon aromas,” Wine Enthusiast recently described Lustau East India Solera. “Its solid palate is under control and not syrupy, tapering into brown sugar and fig flavors. Chocolate and fig notes linger on the long finish.”
Suggested Retail Price:$23-$26
Lustau Solera Reserva Pedro Ximénez San Emilio
Lustau Solera Reserva Pedro Ximénez San Emilio is dessert in a glass. For this expression, 100% Pedro Ximénez grapes are laid out in the sun after picking until they are practically raisins and then aged in American oak casks in the traditional Solera y Criaderas system at the Bodegas Lustau distillery in Jerez de la Frontera. To enjoy this sherry, dice strong blue cheese – like Roquefort – into small cubes, place them in a plate and pour Pedro Ximénez all over them. It’s extremely easy and, at the same time, delicious. Vanilla or nougat ice cream are also delicious options; drizzle Pedro Ximénez on top for a extra special treat.
“Delivers the weight you expect from a PX, but with fresher cut,” says Wine Spectator. “The singed walnut, brown bread, ginger, ganache and Turkish coffee notes are allied to a mouthwatering spearmint and treacle spine. Features good energy through the finish to match the mouth-coating feel. Drink now.”
Suggested Retail Price:$23-$24
For more information on Bodegas Lustau sherry, please visit: Lustau.es; lustauwineaffairs.com; @Bodegaslustau; found in most wine and liquor stores around the U.S.
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