Manuel Aragón Palo Cortado Viejo

Manuel Aragón Palo Cortado Viejo

Bodega Manuel Aragón is a historic bodega and family winery founded in 1795, firmly rooted in the traditional, working-class Sherry culture of Chiclana de la Frontera. Chiclana is an ancient, sun-bleached village located in the Bay of Cádiz, 12 miles southeast of the city of Cádiz, whose vineyards are the southernmost in the Marco de Jerez. Chano Aragón, the current winery head and oenologist, is a direct descendant of its founder, Pedro Aragón Morales. The story of Manuel Aragón is that of a fierce defender of the historical culture of the region and its quality, hand-crafted wines. 

The bodega lies just 800m from the ocean, separated only by pine trees. It also benefits from the Levante wind, a warm current that flows west through the Strait of Gibraltar. Palomino vineyards are planted in chalky albariza barajuela soils aligned in the same direction as the Levante wind. 

The secret to quality that sets Manuel Aragón apart from most of the wineries in the Sherry region begins with the unique fact that they own 9ha of their own vineyards, which viticulturist Juan Manuel Tocino farms organically. Utilizing a traditional method to fertilize their vineyards, they recycle the pomace produced from winemaking back into the soil after the grapes have been pressed. Manuel Aragón has vineyards located in the Pagos Campano, Cañadillas, and Marquesado.

Palo Cortado Viejo is produced from estate-grown, organic palomino grapes grown in Pago Marquesado in chalky albariza barajuela soils. It is a very rare limited release from the Aragón foundational solera. This authentic treasure is hand-bottled once a year directly from cask in tiny quantities. A unique, very old sherry from a single 350 liter cask, this Palo Cortado is relatively gentle for its age (believed to be between 50- and 60-years-old) and 20% alcohol. It is nuanced, intense, and complex; mixing the classical aromas of nuts, orange peel, coffee and varnished woods, with a palate softened by a roundness that makes it profoundly elegant. This rare wine has an unforgettable finish that is measured not in minutes, but hours. 

Vinification – During harvest, grapes are hand-picked in small baskets, directly pressed, and then spontaneously fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel at low temperature. After fortifying to 15% ABV with neutral grape spirits, this Palo Cortado Viejo spends 50 years in a solera of one single 350 liter cask, under both biological and oxidative aging. Gradually, through decades of evaporation, the alcohol has concentrated to 20% ABV. Manuel Aragón runs the scales in the traditional way, moving the wine through the solera manually, without mechanical pumps, utilizing gravity and the traditional tools of the canoa, jarra, sifón, and rocíador. Sulfur dioxide was not added at any point. It is bottled unfiltered and unfined.

  • Village: Chiclana de la Frontera

  • Vineyard: Pago Marquesado

  • Soils: Chalky albariza barajuela

  • Grapes: Palomino Fino

  • Vinification: Estate-grown grapes are hand-picked in small baskets with great care to avoid oxidation, directly pressed, and then spontaneously fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel at low temperature.

  • Fortification: Neutral grape spirits

  • Aging: 50+ years, both biological and oxidative aging

  • Alcohol: 20% ABV

  • Fining / Filtration: None

  • Farming: Practicing Organic

  • Vegan: Yes

  • S02: None added, less than 10mg/L naturally-occurring

  • Profile: Dry, aromatic, full-bodied, savory, transcendental

  • Serve: Cool room temperature, between 62° – 65° F in a wine glass

  • Suggested Retail: $157.00 (500mL)