Luis Gutiiérrez, Robert Parker's wine critic, writes:
"The NV Palo Cortado Cardenal VORS, like the entire VORS collection from Valdespino, is outstanding. It is fed from the solera of the Palo Cortado CP, where the Palomino grapes come from the Macharnudo Alto vineyard and fermented in American oak botas It has 22% alcohol and nine grams of (undetectable) residual sugar, making it very drinkable. It is a monumental wine of dark mahogany color with a green rim, a complex, ever-changing, concentrated, clean and well-defined nose with spices , dark chocolate, Cuban cigars and balsamic notes of incense and a sharp, salty palate. It is highly concentrated, powerful and clean, with an eternal, lingering aftertaste. Deciding between Coliseo and Cardenal is a splitting hair, and as much as I love Coliseo , Cardenal is one step better in my opinion. It is at the top of the quality of Palo Cortado. Drink 2013-2025.
I have often referred to Valdespino as “the Romanee-Conti of Jerez.” Well, there I said it. For me they represent quality and tradition at the top of the sherry hierarchy. The winery, the soleras and the brands are old: they were registered in 1875, but the records of their commercial and viticultural activities date back to the 13th century. The more recent history begins in 1999, when Jose Estevez buys the company from the Valdespino family. Today Valdespino is the jewel in the crown of Grupo Estevez, which also includes Real Tesoro and La Guita. They store and age 35,000 botas of sherry and own 800 hectares of vineyards, 56 of which come from the Pago Macharnudo, on pure white Albariza soil, one of the best vineyards in the Marco de Jerez, and 17 hectares from the heart of Macharnudo are still in use today Bota fermented and form the core of brands such as Inocente, Tio Diego, CP and Cardenal. All the wines were carefully and slowly transferred to the new Grupo Estevez facilities on the outskirts of Jerez, where they were stored under the supervision of Eduardo Ojeda, the technical director and winemaker, who, as a wine lover, knows his role in preserving these ancient soleras, wines and traditions is very conscious, needs to be further developed."