Wine review: Alexander Jules Manzanilla '17/71' Sherry

The Times' @sirenevirbila reviews Alexander Jules Manzanilla "17/71" Sherry

This could be the sherry to turn even the most dubious wine drinker into a sherry fancier. Alexander Jules proprietor Alex Russan fell in love with sherry in his college days when that was about all he could afford. It quickly turned into an obsession — and just recently into a business bottling and selling sherries hand-picked from certain casks belonging to the soleras of historic sherry houses in southern Spain.

Pour a little of this manzanilla into a white wine glass. Immediately there's the complicated scent of flowers, hazelnuts and something of the sea. Dry and with a quiet intensity and complexity, the sherry lingers on the finish, a touch saline, a touch mysterious.

To create this bottling, Russan tasted through the 71-barrel San Léon solera from Bodegas Argüeso and picked out the 17 barrels that spoke to him. (That's the meaning of the 17/71 on the label.)

Enjoy it with a bowl of olives or almonds, with shellfish, sushi or sashim, or, suggests Russan, cured hams and meats.

Region: Sherry (Spain)

Price: About $40

Style: Dry, complex

What it goes with: Olives, nuts, shellfish, sushi, cured hams and meats

Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463,; Tarzana Wine and Spirits in Tarzana, (818) 342-0355,; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, Contact for information on other stores.

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