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AMONTILLADO

The name is derived from nearby Montilla. The style of this wine is similar to the wines of Montilla and this name approximates to ‘in the Montilian style’. This Spanish wine is darker in colour than other Fino sherries and has cask aged for longer than most Finos (ten to fifteen years instead of a minimum of three years). The bouquet and taste is fresh and redolent of hazelnuts; alcohol 17.5%. A first class winter aperitif to drink at 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).

 

Oloroso Spain SherryOLOROSO

This fragrant sherry, which has been allowed to oxidise fully, is much darker coloured than Fino sherry, ranging from amber to mahogany. The taste and texture of this naturally dry sherry can be full and powerful with clear suggestions of walnut. To prevent confusion with Oloroso dulce (or cream sherry) this sherry is often labelled as Oloroso seco. This wine smells sweet but is dry with a alcoholic finish which is a little like a caress; alcohol 18%. Drinking temperature is 12-14°C (53.6-57.2°F) for young Olorosos, 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F) for more mature ones.

 

PALO CORTADO

The colour of this sherry tends towards mahogany, it has a dry but well-balanced taste which is reminiscent of hazelnuts. It is fairly rare sherry that has the soft rounded taste of an amontillado combined with the fullness and character of an Oloroso; alcohol: 18%. Drinking temperature for this Spanish wine is 57.2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).

 

PALE CREAM

This smooth pale sherry that resembles a fino in appearance, is actually slightly sweet with a refined and delicate taste; alcohol 17.5%; this sherry is surprisingly good combined with pâté and fresh fruit to drink at 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C).

 

RICH CREAM

This type of sherry also goes under the names of cream or oloroso dulce. This type of sherry is made using an Oloroso so that it is full-bodied and with much character.

The basic Spanish wine is Pedro Ximénez, sometimes supplemented with Moscatel, and this sherry can be from five to fifteen years old. The taste is sweet, full, powerful, and yet smooth; alcohol 17.5%. This sherry is mainly served as a dessert sherry at 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).

 

Pedro Ximenez Sherry SpainPEDRO XIMÉNEZ

This dark (mahogany coloured) sherry that is also known as PX, is quite rare. Its nose and taste is of raisins with suggestions of roasted coffee or cocoa. This sherry is made using sun-dried Pedro-Ximénez grapes; alcohol 17%. This sheriy is often served with sweet pastries and cakes. Drinking temperature for this Spanish wine is 60.8-64.4°F/16-18°C. (Some prefer to drink this sherry chilled. Try it yourself or choose your own temperature)

The indications ‘dry’ or ‘medium dry’ sherry, are somewhat imaginative and not veiy reliable. Their origin is among English sherry shippers who might wish to mask the dubious origins of their ‘sherries’. Hence slightly sweet sherry-type wines are termed ‘dry’ and honey sweet ones as ‘medium dry’. The terms ‘pale’, ‘pale dry’, and ‘dry’ should relate to Fino sherries and ‘medium dry’ relate to Pale Cream or Oloroso Semi-dulce. In practice this is not adhered to. There has been stricter control since 1996 but some houses still live by the motto ‘Make it sweet and call it dry.’

 

 

MANZANILLA DE SANLÚCAR DE BARRAMEDA

Manzanilla fino type sherry wine may only be produced in the harbour town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The Spanish wine is somewhat lighter but is often more elegant than other finos. This wine derives a character all of its own thanks to the position of the bodegas close to the sea so that cooling sea breezes waft into the storage cellars. Manzanilla from Sanlúcar de Barrameda recently acquired its own DO and is likely now to be increasingly differentiated from sherry from Jerez de la Frontera or El Puerto de Santa Maria. This is a reaction to the situation that is unsatisfactory for the producers of Manzanilla whereby almost all the promotional budget for sherry is used to promote fino.

Although Manzanilla is certainly of no lesser quality, they are often seen by promotional activity to be lesser wines than finos. The Manzanilla producers have now taken the initiative themselves with promotional activity led by houses such as the well- known Barbadillo bodega.

The colour is pale to straw yellow, the nose is fresh and vegetal with distinct hint of flor. The taste is somewhat saltier and above all drier than a fino sherry with a pleasing bitter note in the finish; alcohol 15.5%. It is an outstanding aperitif. You can drink this Spanish wine at 50°F (10°C).

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