Sherry, a historic and mysterious fortified wine that comes in different styles which can be a bit confusing for all of us. At Grand Cata we love and embrace Sherry as a unique expression in the fortified wine category deeply rooted in Jerez, Spain. A style of its own, with specific climate conditions influenced by the warm breezes of the Atlantic Ocean, a terroir influenced by the Albariza chalky soils with aging techniques using the Solera System develops wines with that are unique and complex with many styles and flavors. There's always a Sherry for every palate.
To make it easier to appreciate and understand, this is what you need to know about this historic libation:
Sherry is a wine style created in Jerez, Spain centuries ago when the Moors introduce distilling to Spain the Sherry style came about. Sherry comes in many forms and flavors from bone-dry to middle of the road dry, off-dry and sweet. This wine is aged in criaderas always filled 2/3 of the way using the solera system of aging using fractional blending of aged sherry with younger sherry. The main grapes used for Sherry production are Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel, the lighter styles such as manzanilla and fino are protected by the development of flor: a cloudy yeast the grows on top of the wine to protect the freshness of the wine and hinders oxidative qualities and complexity. Being a fortified wine adding grape based brandy during fermentation to stop the conversion of sugars to alcohol once the right amount of alcohol is achieved, alcohol levels can range from 15-22 % ABV. So in other words, please enjoy with moderation.
Styles: Dry - Sweet:
Manzanilla: a light version of Sherry, bright, briny, salty, with balanced acidity, showcasing tart green apples, pronounced minerality, the perfect balance of fresh and complex. This style is meant to be drunk young, slightly chilled and paired with manchego, fresh olives and boquerones.
Fino: a light version of Sherry, bright, briny, slightly oxidative with toasted almonds, dry pear and apple, fresh acidity, the perfect balance of fresh and complex. Enjoy lightly chilled and paired with goat cheese, pan entomatado with olive oil.
Amontillado: a medium body, rich tawny color, aromatic, nutty, dry apricot, peaches, hints of honey, fig and caramel, bright, fresh with long finish, amontillado can be dry and off-dry. Pairs well with cured meats and creamy cheeses with quince paste.
Oloroso & Palo Cortado: a medium plus body, dark tawny color, aromatic, oxidative, dry stone fruits, hints of balsamic vinegar, black olives with a long pronounced finish. Oloroso can also be versatile, dry, to off dry and very complex. His side kick Palo Cortado is the perfect blend of an amontillado's freshness with the depth and complexity of an Oloroso. Both Sherry's pair well with blue cheeses, marcona almonds and jamón ibérico.
Pale Cream, Medium and Cream: a medium plus body Sherry and sweeter style of Sherry: ripe, oxidative, complex showcasing cooked stone fruits with hints of figs, caramel, honey, orange peel. This style come a bit off-dry and sweet and still has a clean finish with a fresh acidity that makes it enjoyable by itself.
Moscatel & Pedro Ximenez: a full body Sherry and sweetest of them all. Rich, thick, almost syrupy showcasing ripe cooked raisins, dates, plums, dark fruit marmalade, with hints of licorice, cassis with some herbs and spices. This is definitely a dessert wine that you can pour on top of fresh vanilla ice-cream with sautéed bananas with brown sugar and brandy reduction.