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%.
The history of Bodegas Williams & Humbert goes back nearly 130 years. They participated in the creation of the Jerez-Xérès-Brandy Quality Demarcation and are now considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious wine producers. The winery was founded in 1877 by Sir Alexander Williams, a great admirer and connoisseur of sherry products, and Arthur Humbert, a specialist in international relations. Since then they have preserved part of the original wines and brandies (soleras) in high quality oak casks. These soleras are the base of the development and ageing of every sherry and brandy produced at Bodegas Williams & Humbert.
This is dark-mahogany-coloured sweet oloroso sherry, great when chilled or even served with a block of ice. Made from a blend of Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel, which is aged in a solera system for at least four years.
On the nose, dried nuts and faint aroma of raisins, muscatel and toasted sugar. Smooth and velvety with a warm palate owing to its alcohol content. A long finish.
ABV = 19.5%.
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 five kilometres to the north-west of Jerez, 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 is typical of Jerez DO, and 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, 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. The fermentation temperature is controlled by not filling the barrels completely, then adding cooled grape must when necessary, to moderate the temperature. Once fermentation is finished, when 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 new wine 'Sobretabla' spends one year in barrel before being transferred to the 'Solera of Tio Diego' for fractional blending. It spends eight to ten years ageing biologically, during which time around 50% of the 'flor' dies. The wine evolves naturally into oxidative ageing as the Flor dies off (there is no extra fortification to 18%). It achieves a higher strength by concentration and evaporation up to 18%. The average age of the final Sherry is over 20 years at the time of bottling.
An intense amber colour. The nose shows notes of both the biological and oxidative ageing, yeast, bread, but also dried fruits and a hint of toffee, caramel and leather. Very dry, very complex, with a generous body and well balanced acidity.
ABV = 18.0%.
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%.