Gonzalez Byass "Viña AB" Amontillado
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The NV Vina AB Amontillado is the youngest of the Amontillados in the Gonzalez-Byass lineup. Produced from Palomino grapes, it has four years of biological (under yeast) aging, and a further four without flor. It has a deep yellow color, a clean, discrete nose of Fino, chalky with its salty notes, but the palate is clearly an elegant, light Amontillado, with intense, piercing flavors, and it fills your mouth, ending very dry. Very drinkable and good value entry-level Amontillado. A leader in young Amontillado category. Drink 2013-2015.
This is a wonderful, lighter style of dry amontillado, a wine which begins its life as a fino (underneath a veil of flor) and then ages briefly oxidatively. You could call this lighter, brisker style of amontillado a "fino amontillado," given the especially tangy, fresh, fino character. Basically, this is Tio Pepe with some more aging in barrel. Fresh, salty, and stone fruit aromatics have just the barest hint of wood influence, and lead to a wonderfully tangy palate of citrus (tangy dried orange in particular) and almonds. A classic, and a terrific accompaniment to a variety of cured cheeses, charcuterie (Spanish choices such as chorizo and Ibérico ham are obvious picks) and other tapas. One very specific and typical pairing would involve dishes using mojama, the delicious, salt-cured tuna belly that is cherished in Andalusian cuisine.