Jerez

Emilio Hidalgo
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The sun is so strong and hot that the grape is roasted on the plant and ripens like warm fruit in an oven pie. Well, not exactly the conditions for wines with freshness and finesse. And yet……  a comparison of the hot Jerez and, for example, the cool Champagne region goes a long way. Both regions are known for their wines that derive a unique character from their pronounced limestone soils, and long traditional treatments. Sherry and Champagne  are both white wines from white soils and are prized for their appetizing character. The Jerez region is located in the extreme south of Spain between the cities of Cádiz and Seville. An area where the temperature rises so high during the day that most of life takes place during the evening and night.

History

The Jerez wine region, also known as the Sherry Triangle, has a rich and centuries-long history in wine production. Viticulture in the Jerez region dates back to ancient times, with evidence of grape growing and wine production dating back to Phoenician and Greek settlements.

Today, Jerez is the origin of some of the world's most celebrated Sherry wines, including Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez. The Jerez wine region remains a leading name in the wine world, attracting wine lovers from all over the world who want to experience the rich history and unique flavors of Sherry wines.

Sherry

Wines from Jerez, also known as Sherry wines, are one of the most iconic and respected wine styles in the world.

Fino: Fino is a dry and light Sherry with a pale golden color. It is aged under a layer of flor, a natural yeast that protects the wine against oxidation. This gives Fino its characteristic fresh, salty and almond-like taste. Fino is an excellent aperitif and goes well with seafood, olives and nuts.

Manzanilla: Manzanilla is a subcategory of Fino and is produced in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, close to the sea. This gives Manzanilla an even more intense salty taste and a very dry character. It is perfect to combine with fresh fish and shellfish.

Amontillado: Amontillado starts out as a Fino or Manzanilla but later undergoes a different aging process. This allows it to develop a complex flavor with nutty, caramel-like notes and a slightly deeper color. Amontillado goes well with fried dishes, mushrooms and mature cheeses.

Oloroso: Oloroso is a full and dry Sherry with a deep amber hue. Unlike Fino and Manzanilla, Oloroso is not protected by flor and undergoes longer oxidative aging. This gives it a rich, nutty flavor with notes of dried fruit and herbs. Oloroso is great with grilled meats and stews.

Palo Cortado: This Sherry starts out as a Fino or Amontillado, but unexpectedly develops into a wine that combines the properties of both Oloroso and Amontillado. Palo Cortado has a complex flavor profile with nutty, spicy and fruity elements.

Pedro Ximénez (PX): PX is a sweet Sherry made from the grape variety of the same name. This Sherry has a thick, syrupy texture and is bursting with sweet flavors such as raisins, dates and caramel. PX is often a dessert wine that goes well with chocolate desserts and blue cheeses.

Sherries are also often aged in American oak barrels, which adds additional dimensions of flavor. The diversity and complexity of Sherry wines from Jerez make them an interesting choice for wine lovers and an excellent accompaniment to various types of dishes, from starters to desserts.