Bodega Lustau Sherry is certainly one of the best fortified wine producers in the world. But don’t just take my word for it…cellar master Sergio Martinez won the award for best fortified winemaker three years running, in 2017, 2018 and 2019. No mean feat. Also, Lustau won the award for best Spanish winery in 2011, and for best Sherry producer in 2014 and 2016.

They are also the only winery to produce in each of the three cities in the Sherry triangle…Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda.

In 1896, José Ruiz Berdejo set up the business as an almacenista. This means he was a stockholder of nice sherries, basically a small producer who didn’t make enough for a commercial release, but who sold small quantites of quality sherries to larger producers. He made his name, and in 1931, his daughter Maria acquired a small winery nearer the centre of Jerez, raising the company’s profile. In 1945, Emilio Lustau Ortega (her husband), moved the business to the district of Santiago and they stopped being an almacenista and became a sherry producer in their own right.

And the rest is history.

Lustau are now making every style of quality sherry, including Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso and Pedro Ximinex (PX). And all of these styles from the three allowed grapes, Palomino, Moscatel and Pedro Ximinex.

The finos and manzanillas are aged under a layer of flor (a veil of yeast), which protects the wine from the air. The amontillados have the same amount of time under flor as they do reacting to the air. This happens when the wine is fortified a second time, killing the flor and raising the final alcohol by volume (ABV).

Here are a few new listings which are worth seeking out.

Lustau Manzanilla Papirusa 15% (Inverarity One to One, £19.99). This is very, very dry and perfect as an aperitif or with seafood tapas or oysters.

Lustau Amontillado Los Arcos 18.5% (Inverarity One to One, £19.99). Lustau’s Amontillado is delicious with a mushroom risotto and is also one of the few things to work with asparagus or artichokes.

Lustau Emperatriz Eugenia Very Rare Oloroso 20% (Inverarity One to One, £29.99 for 50cl). This wine is based on a solera system started in 1921 to commemorate the visit to the winery of the last empress of France, Eugenia de Montijo. If that’s not a reason to raise a glass, I don’t know what is. Cheers!