Vineyard: The grapes come from Macharnudo Alto and vines in excess of 25 years old
Orientation: The vineyard faces the south east with and inclination of 10 degrees and at an altitude of 135 meters high.
Soil: Albariza or a white chalky soil. When wet it sheds water to deeper soils and as it dries it "clods" creating a protective layer that slows the evaporation of water from below.
Viticulture: The vines are bush pruned in the traditional method.
Vinification: The wine is fermented naturally in very old oak barrels. They remain in this "sobretabla" for 1 year fermenting to about 12% alcohol and forming the flor. The wine is then removed from the lees and fortified to 15% and introduced to the first "criadera" of either Inocente or Tio Diego
Aging: Cardenal is a divergence of Calle Ponce Viejo Palo Cortado. The best barrels of Viejo CP get placed in the initial criadera of Cardernal. The wine ages for over 30 years both biologically and oxidatively. Cardenal contains 4 criaderas and a solera in a total of 6 barrels.
Notes: Intense mahogany in color with aromas of flowers, toasted nuts and apricots. The palate is bone dry but with a deep toasty flavor and a backdrop of fruit.
Publication: Wine advocate
The NV Palo Cortado Cardenal VORS, like the whole VORS collection from Valdespino is outstanding. It is fed from the solera of the Palo Cortado C.P. where the Palomino grapes come from the Macharnudo Alto vineyard, fermented in American oak botas. It’s 22% alcohol and has nine grams of (undetectable) residual sugar which makes it very drinkable. It’s a monumental wine of dark mahogany color with a green edge, a complex, ever-changing, concentrated, clean and delineated nose of spices, dark chocolate, Cuban cigar and balsamic notes of incense, and a sharp, saline palate. It is highly concentrated, powerful and clean, with an eternal, lingering aftertaste. Deciding between Coliseo and Cardenal might be splitting hairs, and as much as I love Coliseo, I felt Cardenal was just one notch above. At the quality helm of Palo Cortado. Drink 2013-2025.