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, www.klwines.com; Tarzana Wine and Spirits in Tarzana, (818) 342-0355, www.tarzanawineandspirits.com; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on other stores.