As I talked about in my previous post, most people think sweet when they think sherry, but there is far more to it. Different styles were developed over time, but essentially the principle of the fortification process was to allow the wines to age in an oxidative process whereby barrels were not completely filled and in the case of the dry styles a thin layer of yeast was allowed to form on the surface of the wine known as flor. With the sweeter and higher alcohol wines this flor does not exist and are thus more oxidative in nature, and often age for longer both in solera and bottle. After all, if the wine is already oxidised in the barrel it hardly matters if you drink it several months after opening the bottle. With the sherry rainbow of styles on offer, it actually means that sherry is a versatile and unique companion to food. Possibly one of the most famous food matches with manzanilla for example, is freshly grilled sardines which are very salty and pair perfectly with the fresh acids of the sherry. There is currently a sherry revolution as new generations are discovering this ancient wine style, most notably in London and New York. Several wine experts still maintain that sherry is woefully undervalued and I couldn’t agree more. It just takes a little while to understand the wine, and shake the image of it being for old fuddy-duddies.
|Can you tell I’m missing home?
Fresh apples, toasty brioche quite doughey, bright pale nose. Very fresh and intense fruit forward, bright acids, very little rancio influence, nice texture, and good clean finish. Very nicely balanced and approachable.
Del Duque Amontillado Viejo (30 years)
Creamy toffee burnt caramelised butter, caramel fudge. Creamy smooth sweet texture but dry flavours. Very complex, evolves across the palate, fairly intense, quite hot but relatively well integrated, showing some toasty barrel characters.
Apostoles Palo Cortado Viejo
Deeper darker caramel and toffee notes, slightly smoky toasty roasted nut aromas. Sweet viscous texture, very warm and rich on the palate, toasty almond biscuit caramel, hazelnuts walnuts, caramel brittle.
Matusalem Oloroso Dulce Viejo
A suprising amount of freshness, very late toasty smoky (almost whiskey cask). Very raisined, very rummy, very spirity in general.
Noe Pedro Ximenez Viejo
Interesting balsamic notes, very mature complex characters, looking a lot less sweet than younger ones, a lot less raisin notes, toasty deep dark chocolate characters, complex slightly savoury raisin characters.
|That’s a big bottle of Tio Pepe