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Sherry

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Valdespino Oloroso Don Gonzalo VOS (1x75cl)

Valdespino is among few family-owned bodegas in Jerez, and with a history of sherry production going back six centuries, it is also one of the oldest. Alfonso Valdespino was one of 24 knights who fought for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X, against the Arabs in 1264. As a reward for his efforts he was given land in the Jerez region. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family, and they own 750 hectares of their own vineyards in Jerez, rare in this region, which allows them close control over grape quality. Their Pago Macharnudo vineyard provides the grapes for their single vineyard wines, which include the Fino 'Inocente', the Amontillado 'Tio Diego' and the Palo Cortado 'Viejo CP'. They are one of the only bodegas currently producing single vineyard sherries. Valdespino is also renowned for their VOS (Very Old Sherries) with over 20 years of ageing and VORS (Very Old Rare Sherries), with over 30 years of ageing.

The vineyard is located in Jerez. The white 'albariza' soil is typical of the region, and comes from a layer of earth rich in marine fossils. Thanks to the high content of calcic carbonate, its clayey texture does not split; it is soft when wet and absorbs rain like a sponge, and when it dries out it forms a layer that holds in the water, preventing evaporation. This reserve of moisture encourages the vine roots to develop, some reaching to more than four metres depth, allowing them to use this water reserve when needed.

Fermentation takes place in 600 litre American oak barrels. Once fermentation is finished, when 13% alcohol is reached, the Oloroso is then it is fortified to 18%, and allowed to age 100% oxidatively. It is aged and fractionally blended in a solera system, where the wine increases in strength through a process of concentration and evaporation. The finished wine has a average age of over 20 years.

100% Palomino.

Mahogany coloured. Aromas and flavours of caramel, toasted almonds and dried apricots. Very expressive and complex. Good acidity, and a very long persistent finish.

ABV = 21.0%.

£38.85

Valdespino Pedro Ximenez El Candado (1x75cl)

Valdespino is one of the oldest and very few family-owned bodegas in Jerez, with a history of Sherry production going back six centuries. Alfonso Valdespino was one of 24 knights who fought for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X, against the Arabs in 1264. As a reward for his efforts he was given land in the Jerez region. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family, and they own 750 hectares of their own vineyards in Jerez, which is rare in this region, and allows them close control over grape quality. 

The soil where the Pedro Ximénez grapes are grown in the Jerez region is high in silica and calcic carbonate. It is deep and has a good oxygen content, and produces grapes with high sugar levels.

When the Pedro Ximénez grapes are harvested, they are left out in the sun to dry for at least two weeks. This concentrates the sugars through evaporation, turning them to raisins. A very sweet must is then obtained through pressing, which is fermented and then fortified to around 17%, using grape spirit of 96%. The wine is then aged in a Solera system made up of three ‘criadera‘ and a solera, made from American oak casks, and fractionally blended. The wine is aged 100% oxidatively and has an average age of ten years. The final wine must meet requirements to show standard characteristics and parameters expected of a Pedro Ximénez sherry. 

100% Pedro Ximénez.

A deep mahogany colour. Intense aromas of dried fruits, raisins, figs, and subtle notes of chocolate and coffee. Smooth and velvety on the palate, with great length and balance.

ABV = 17.0%.

£20.85

Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their January 2020 edition article, Most Exciting Wines of 2019 (see blue link below).

Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla NV - January 2020 Decanter review

Established in 1792, Bodegas Hidalgo is one of the oldest Sherry producers in existence, it is widely regarded as the definitive Manzanilla house. Passing down from generation to generation, continuity and quality have always been the most important themes for the company, which today uses only grapes from their own vineyards in Jérez Superior.

Manzanilla La Gitana is produced according to the traditional methods as stipulated by the controlling body of the Denomination of Origin ‘ManzanillaSanlúcar de Barrameda’. Vines are planted in Albariza soil in ‘Balbaina’ and ‘Miraflores’ in the Jerez Superior District (200 ha approx). Produced from only free run juice and using only the natural yeast found on the grapes, controlled fermentation takes place in water-cooled stainless steel tanks. The Wine is then fortified to 15% ABV using grape alcohol. It is then matured in ‘solera’ or ‘fractional blending’ systems using American oak casks, in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Maturation occurs under a veil of yeast or ‘flor’, ensuring a light dry taste. It is only in Sanlúcar de Barrameda that flor can grow 12 months of the year, giving Manzanilla its unique style. La Gitana is bottled exclusively by Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana S.A. Under the original brand label ‘La Gitana’, one of Spain’s oldest wine brands and today, one of the country’s most popular.

100% Palomino Fino.

The La Gitana is dry and refreshing, with apple, straw and nutty flavours all underscored by a salty tanginess. Lightweight, subtle and balanced. A perfect introduction to sherry. One of the best aperitifs served chilled in a wine glass. Ideal as an accompaniment to tapas, sea food, white meats, mild cheeses and nuts.

ABV = 15.0%.

£11.30

Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Pasada Pastrana Manzanilla NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their January 2020 edition article, Most Exciting Wines of 2019 (see blue link below).

Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Pasada Pastrana Manzanilla - January 2020 Decanter review

“I have said this before and I will say it again – this is the best value 20/20 wine I have ever tasted. I only hand out a few 20s each year in my notes and Pasada Pastrana with its pinpoint accurate nose and flavour is a truly celestial star wine. Manzanilla at its apogee – you must taste this epic dry Sherry.”

Matthew Jukes, The Daily Mail, 1st December 2016

Established in 1792, Bodegas Hidalgo is one of the oldest Sherry producers in existence, it is widely regarded as the definitive Manzanilla house. Passing down from generation to generation, continuity and quality have always been the most important themes for the company, which today uses only grapes from their own vineyards in Jérez Superior.

Pastrana is a single vineyard, on the crest of a hill near the sea, therefore cooled by the sea breezes. These grapes have great intensity of flavour. The wines are aged for longer in American oak casks than La Gitana Manzanilla. Pasada Pastrana is deeper coloured as a result, and is savoury, refreshing and hugely complex. Produced according to the traditional methods as stipulated by the controlling body of the Denomination of Origin ‘Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda’, the vines are planted in Albariza soil in the area ‘Balbaina’ and ‘Miraflores’ in the Jerez Superior District. The wine is produced from only free run juice, fermentation is controlled in water-cooled stainless steel tanks, using the natural yeast on the grape and it is fortified from 11.5% approx to 15% ABV using grape alcohol. The wine is then matured in ‘solera’ or ‘fractional blending’ system in casks of American oak in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Andalucia. The maturation is under a veil of yeast or ‘flor’ thereby ensuring a light dry taste. Only in Sanlúcar de Barrameda can the flor grow on the wine 12 months of the year to give Manzanilla its unique style.

100% Palomino Fino.

Residual sugar = 0.03 g/litre (= utterly bone dry!).

Clean, delicate and faintly yeasty on the nose. Dry, light, crisp but tremendously complex on the palate. Classic notes of salted almonds and orange peel. Power and refreshment combine to create the most complex and cerebral Manzanilla. Serve slightly chilled. The ultimate tapas or light meal accompaniment.

ABV = 15.5%.

£14.95

Bodegas Hidalgo Prestigio Amontillado Seco Napoleon (1x 50cl)

Established in 1792, Bodegas Hidalgo is one of the oldest Sherry producers in existence, it is widely regarded as the definitive Manzanilla house. Passing down from generation to generation, continuity and quality have always been the most important themes for the company, which today uses only grapes from their own vineyards in Jérez Superior.

Amontillado Seco Napoleón is originally aged to become a Manzanilla using the traditional solera system in casks of American oak. However, certain casks show a deeper, nuttier character, and are transferred to a separate solera to age oxidatively, as part of the Amontillado blend. The name originates from the days of the Peninsula War, when the Hidalgo’s sold wine both to the French and the British! See also Jerez Cortado ‘Welllington’.

Hues of mahogany and rich hazelnut aromas. Full and long on the palate with subtle nuttiness and a dry and refined finish. Excellent with nuts in particular and suits all pre-dinner nibbles better than any other. Lovely with patê and hard cheeses. Do not over-chill in order to appreciate the more delicate flavours of this wine.

ABV = 17.5%.

£11.50

Bodegas Hidalgo Prestigio Oloroso Seco Faraon (1x 50cl)

Established in 1792, Bodegas Hidalgo is one of the oldest Sherry producers in existence, it is widely regarded as the definitive Manzanilla house. Passing down from generation to generation, continuity and quality have always been the most important themes for the company, which today uses only grapes from their own vineyards in Jérez Superior.

The ‘Faraon’ is the head of an Andalusian gypsy family. Oloroso Seco Faraon is aged oxidatively for several years in butts of American oak. The grapes are sourced exclusively from our own vineyards in Balbaina and Miraflores. Matured in casks of American oak in a “solera” or “fractional blending” system, in the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, maturation is an oxidative process; no flor grows since the wine is fortified after vinification. Then follows an average of seven years of ageing in cask, to give a dry and wonderfully complex wine. 

Intensely rich pervading walnut aromas. The palate is dry, intense, rich and deep with a long and powerful flavour. Faraon works well as a pungent aperitif, but is also great with many foods: Tapas, soup, dry cheeses and even beef.

ABV = 18.0%.

£11.95

Lustau La Ina Fino Jerez (1x75cl)

La Ina is an amazing Fino whose Solera was founded in 1919. Fame as one of the most aromatic and intense of all Finos. Aged in American oak casks for 5 years using the traditional “Solera y Criaderas” system in Jerez de la Frontera.

Bright pale straw colour. Pungent on the nose with mineral hints. Dry and crispy palate, with a full, round finish.

ABV = 15.0%.

£14.20

Valdespino Fino Inocente (1x75cl)

Valdespino is among few family-owned bodegas in Jerez, and with a history of sherry production going back six centuries, also one of the oldest. Alfonso Valdespino was one of 24 knights who fought for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X, against the Arabs in 1264. As a reward for his efforts he was given land in the Jerez region. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family, and they own 750 hectares of their own vineyards in Jerez, rare in this region, which allows them close control over grape quality. Their Pago Macharnudo vineyard provides the grapes for their single vineyard wines, which include the Fino 'Inocente', the 'Amontillado 'Tio Diego' and the Palo Cortado 'Viejo CP'. They are one of the only bodegas currently producing single vineyard sherries. Valdespino is also renowned for their VOS (Very Old Sherries) with over 20 years of ageing and VORS (Very Old Rare Sherries), with over 30 years of ageing.

Valdespino's single vineyard (Pago) Macharnudo Alto is located in the privileged area of High Jerez. It is at 135 metres above sea level, with a south-east aspect and a 10% gradient. The white 'albariza' soil, typical of Jerez DO, comes from a layer of earth rich in marine fossils. Thanks to the high content of calcium carbonate, its clayey texture does not split; it is soft when wet and absorbs rain like a sponge. When it dries out it forms a hard layer which prevents evaporation. The reserve of moisture encourages the vine roots to develop, allowing them to access water when needed.

Unusually for modern day Jerez, fermentation is traditional and takes place in 600 litre American oak barrels. After 11-13% alcohol is reached, the wine is fortified to 15%, and the veil of 'flor' (yeast) appears on the wine's surface, protecting it from oxygen and transforming its components. The wine 'Sobretabla' spends one year in barrel before entering the solera system for fractional blending over eight to ten years, which gives it great complexity and consistency. There are ten barrel stages, or 'criadera', while most Finos have only three. Each stage adds extra complexity to the final wine. The finished Fino, which has an average age of ten years, is drawn from the last barrel, the 'solera'.

100% Palomino.

This wine is straw-yellow in colour. The aromas are delicate and complex, with notes of almonds and autolysis. On the palate it is savoury, with flavours of green apple, sea salt and toasty yeast. The barrel fermentation adds extra body and structure. Long and complex on the finish.

ABV = 15.0%.

£17.55

Valdespino Manzanilla Deliciosa (1x75cl)

Valdespino is among few family-owned bodegas in Jerez, and with a history of sherry production going back six centuries, also one of the oldest. Alfonso Valdespino was one of 24 knights who fought for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X, against the Arabs in 1264. As a reward for his efforts he was given land in the Jerez region. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family, and they own 750 hectares of their own vineyards in Jerez, rare in this region, which allows them close control over grape quality. Their Pago Macharnudo vineyard provides the grapes for their single vineyard wines, which include the Fino 'Inocente', the 'Amontillado 'Tio Diego' and the Palo Cortado 'Viejo CP'. They are one of the only bodegas currently producing single vineyard sherries. Valdespino is also renowned for their VOS (Very Old Sherries) with over 20 years of ageing and VORS (Very Old Rare Sherries), with over 30 years of ageing.

The Palomino grapes for the Manzanilla come from Valdespino's single vineyard (Pago) Miraflores, which is situated in Sanlucar de Barrameda. The white 'albariza' soil is typical of the region, and comes from a layer of earth rich in marine fossils. Thanks to the high content of calcic carbonate, its clayey texture does not split; it is soft when wet and absorbs rain like a sponge, and when it dries out it forms a layer that holds in the water, preventing evaporation. This reserve of moisture encourages the vine roots to develop, some reaching to more than four metres depth, allowing them to use this water reserve when needed.

The must is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to preserve crisp, fresh fruit flavours. At this stage is has reached between 10.5% and 12% alcohol, and is then fortified to 15% and the 'flor' yeast layer is encouraged to develop, protecting the wine from oxygen and transforming its components. The Manzanilla bodega is situated in Sanlucar de Barrameda, where the climate is cooler than inland Jerez, and as a result the 'flor' layer is thicker, offering more protection to the wine and therefore more freshness and saline character. The wine ages biologically, spending five years under the 'flor', and producing a more delicate style of Sherry.

100% Palomino.

Pale straw yellow coloured, with a delicate yeasty, bready note on the nose, as well as a hint of flower blossom. On the palate it is very dry, crisp and fresh with a slightly saline finish.

ABV = 15.0%.

£13.95

Williams & Humbert Dry Sack Medium (1x75cl)

Williams & Humbert has been crafting award-winning Sherry since 1877. Founded by two intrepid Englishmen in Jerez de la Frontera, Williams & Humbert is today internationally recognised for the quality of its portfolio. The Williams & Humbert winery is located in the sherry triangle, a region with a unique microclimate.

Firstly, Amontillado, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherries are aged for a minimum of 3 years in the Dry Sack Criaderas. Following this period of ageing, these Sherries are blended together and added to the Dry Sack Criadera and Solera for a further ageing of over 3 years. This gives a minimum ageing time of 6 years. It is bright amber in colour, deep yet delicate bouquet with hints of nuts. Full on the palate, harmonious and mellow.

ABV = 19.5%. 

£13.40
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