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What it is fortified wine?

Fortified WineA fortified wine is a kind of wine that has added distilled beverage, generally brandy. A fortified wine can be differentiated from spirits that are made using wine. The spirits in that are produced by distillation method while the fortified wine is just wine that has spirit included to it. Several different kinds of fortified wines have been made till date including Sherry, Commandaria wine, Marsala, Madeira, Port, and aromatized wine Vermouth.

Fortified wines are wines that are “fortified” with addition of alcohol that is added to during fermentation to base wine, increasing the average alcohol amount to about 17 to 20%. The fortified wines are made in either sweet or dry style (with middle-ground of medium-dry or medium-sweet covered in generally all kinds of fortified wine categories). Among the most common varieties of fortified wines include Marsala, Madeira, Sherry, and Port.

Madeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

 Due to its location, Madeira was once a port of call for sailing ships bound for the Americas. Even today, Nrth America is still an important market. The Madeira vines cling to steep, terraced vineyards in coastal settings at high altitude.

 Since 1993, it has been compulsory for the best Madeiras, labelled sercial, Verdelho, Bual or Malmsey, to be made from a minimum of 85 per cent of the named variety. Those callde seco (dry), meio seco (medium rich) or doce (rich?sweet), are made from the chameleon Tinta Negra Mole grape, which has the knack of imitating the four ‘classic’ varieties.

 Madeira

 

Manufacture Madeira fortified wine

 Madeira fortified wine can be made in the same method as port (by stopping fermentation) or, to pruce the sweeter wines, by blending in the same manner applied to sherry. The young wine is then put through a process unique to Madeira, called ‘Estufagem’. In the days of sailing as ballast. During the slow voyage to the indies and back, there wine was gradually warmedup abd then cooled down. The character of the wine would change, developing a softness and toffee-like texture. A heated-tank (‘estufas’) system recreates those conditions, by slowing heating and cooling the wines in a hot store. After Estufagem, the wines mature, before being blended, sometimes in a solera system.

 Portugal’s Madeira is a hidden gem of a wine, capable of ageing fantastically. Even when opened, the sweet styles will not really change, allowing the consumer to enjoy the drik over a period of time, if the bottle lasts that long.

Portugal’s Madeira is a hidden gem of a wine, capable of ageing fantastically. Even when opened, the sweet styles will not really change, allowing the consumer to enjoy the drik over a period of time, if the bottle lasts that long.

 

► Fortified Wine   ► Sherry Fortified Wine  ► Port Fortified Wine    ► Madeira Fortified Wine

Sherry Fortified WineSherry is the unique fortified wine made in southwest Spain. Like Champagne, its name is protected by law and may only be applied to the wines made in the ‘Sherry Triangle’ around the town of Jerez.  ‘White, chalki’ Albariza soil, ample sunshine and the cool influence of the Atlantic Ocean help to ripen the Palomino grapes whitch produce the base wine for sherry fortified wine. The best sweetening fortified wine will be made from the Pedro Ximénez grape.

 After fortification, the sherry will be stored in casks (butts), until the following year, when classification will take place. All sherry butts are filled just five-sixth full. The delicate fortified wine, fortified to a maimum of 15.5 per cent alcohol, will be classified as finos. 

There are three major styles of fino: fino fortified wine, manzanilla fortified wine and amontillado fortified wine. The type of fino fortified wine depends on the influence of flor, a yeast unique to Jerez. It’s in the atmosphere and grows on the surface of the wine, affecting its composition and flavour. The very presence of flor produces the characteristic tanghy and ‘yeasty’ nose and flavour of the dry sherries.

 Butts not classified as finos will develop into the richer fortified wine known as olorosos, which are fortified to 18 per cent alcohol, a level too high to be affected by flor. Olorosos mature in direct contact with air and are sometimes sweetened during this process.

 To maintain style and consistency, a system of fractional blending and maturation takes place. Known as the solera system, this allows a younger fortified wine to be added to an older wine after one-third of the older wine has been drawn off for bottling.

 

Styles of Sherry fortified wine

Sherry fortified wine is diverse and therefore not only makes an excellent aperitif wine, but is also extremely versatile with food:

FINO FORTIFIED WINE: light and dry.

MANZANILLA FORTIFIED WINE: delicate, dry with a salty tang.

OLOROSO FORTIFIED WINE: full, smooth with a walnut flavour.

AMONTILLADO FORTIFIED WINE: dry, smooth, nutty.

PALO CORTADO FORTIFIED WINE: amontillado, nose, oloroso-like palate.

PALE CREAM FORTIFIED WINE: crisp, subtle sweetness.

CREAM FORTIFIED WINE: sweet, dried fruit flavour.

PEDRO XIMÉNEZ FORTIFIED WINE: rich, sweet, raisin-like flavour.

► Fortified Wine   ► Sherry Fortified Wine  ► Port Fortified Wine    ► Madeira Fortified Wine

Port fortified wine is made in various styles in the Douro Vallery, a rugged, yet beautiful and stunning location in northern Portugal. The area was first dermacated in 1756. A rich, fortified wine, port is made by stopping the fermentation before it is complete, in order to arrest or keep some residual sugar in the wine. In most cases, maturation takes place in Villa Nova de Gaia, close to the coolness of the mouth of the River Douro and opposite the city of Oporto.

Port Fortified Wine The steep slopes alongside the River Douro and its tributaries are terraced to accommodate the vines. Labour therefore is still pretty intensive and most of the picking is done by hand. Over forty different grape varieties are grown here, but only five have been identified as ideal for the production of port: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Tini Cão. Once the ripe grapes are picked, fermentation will follow in stainless steel tanks, although some ‘quintas’ (vineyards) still tread grapes in ‘lagares’, open-top granite tanks. Ordinary port will often have a long maturation in casks, known as pipes, or in arge wooden vats, whille vintage port will develop for most of its life in bottle.

 

Styles of Port Fortified wine

Althoug port is seen as an after-dinner drink or a classic accompaniment to cheese, particuarly Stilton, its breadth of styles means that it cane be suitable with a range of food. A sweet tawny port for instance, works beautifully with a rich pâté.

WHITE PORT FORTIFIED WINE: made from white grapes. Dry or sweet.

RUBY FORTIFIED WINE: youthful, spicy, fruity, and with a deep ruby colour.

VINTAGE CHARACTER FORTIFIED WINE: deeply coloured, full-bodied port around four years of age (blended).

TAWNY FORTIFIED WINE: aged in wood , tawny coloured, smoth, and with flavours of dried fruits. A blend of grapes from several harvests, an indication of age (10, 20, 30 of 40 years old) will be shown on the label og the best ports.

COLHEITA FORTIFIED WINE: a single harvest Tawny. At least seven years old, having rich, smooth, comlex ‘Tawny’ characteristics.

LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE FORTIFIED WINE: port from a good year (not necessarily a ‘declared’ vintage). Matured in wood for five or six years. Accessible, more complex than ruby or vintage character.

SINGLE QUITA FORTIFIED WINE: single harvest, from an individual vineyard. Maturing in bttle to reveal black fruits and spie on the palate. Throws sediment (crust), so needs decanting.VINTAGE FORTIFIED WINE: single exceptional harvest, which may be declared. Aged for two to three years in wood, then slowly in bottle, for up to three decades. complex, blackberry-like flavours, spicy and powerful in youth. needs decanting.

 

► Fortified Wine   ► Sherry Fortified Wine  ► Port Fortified Wine    ► Madeira Fortified Wine

  Fortified wines are wines which have bad extra alcohol added during their production. Sherry is fortified after the juice has fermented to the extent that all the sugar has been used up. In the case of port, fortification takes place during fermentation.

 

Sherry Fortified Wine

Sherry Wine SpainSherry is the unique wine made in southwest Spain. Like Champagne, its name is protected by law and may only be applied to the wines made in the ‘Sherry Triangle’ around the town of Jerez.

Find more about Sherry Fortified Wine

Port Fortified Wine

Port WinePort is made in various styles in the Douro Vallery, a rugged, yet beautiful and stunning location in northern Portugal. The area was first dermacated in 1756.

Find more about Port Fortified Wine

Madeira Fortified Wine

Madeira WineMadeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

Find more Madeira Fortified Wine

Madeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

Find more Madeira Fortified Wine

 

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