By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Sherry When it came time for me to pick a wine for Wine Blogging Wednesday #70: Spain! hosted by my friends over at Catavino, it was a difficult choice. I don't have a ton of Spanish wine in my cellar, but what I do have is pretty interesting.

First, I reached for some older Riojas from Lopez de Heredia, an old-school producer who makes some of the most interesting wines I've encountered. But, I tend to prefer trying new things when WBW comes along. But what? My local shops don't have extensive Spanish offerings beyond the cheap, mostly mass-produced stuff.

Then I remembered that I had some sherry in the crawlspace area in my cellar, including this Bodegas Dios Baco Oloroso Jerez 30 Years Old Baco Imperial.

I have a couple other bottles of sherry too, but after consulting with Ryan and Richard — my sherry gurus — I settled on tasting this one last night.

Just lightly chilled, the nose offered chocolaty oak, dried fig, grilled hazelnuts and blackstrap molasses aromas. I typically eschew wine with chocolate, but based on the nose, would this work?

Maybe. My sherry experience is limited and for whatever reason, I expected this one to be sweet, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was dry and even refreshing in its complexity and intensity.

The palate — even at 19.5% abv — is balanced and lively. The flavors stay in the dried fig and caramel arena with salty roasted nuttiness peeking in at the end of a very long finish. The saline quality here is delicious.

Closer to room temperature the chocolate from the nose made an appearance — sort of like a chocolate Necco wafer.

I didn't try it with chocolate last night, but might tonight. I'd be curious to hear from sherry aficionados what they'd suggest I drink this with.

Thanks to Ryan and Gab for hosting WBW's comeback event. I hope we can keep it going for another 70 editions.