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100 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
in the 19th and 20th century what forced French winakers into Spain
phylloxera is the #1 reason
world wars and civil war
this created an immegration of merchants into penedes and Rioja
vino de mesa
table wine
vino de la tierra
Spanish Equivelent to vin de pays of France
denominacion de Origen
spanish equivalent to French AOC
Spanish doc or doca
denominacion de origen calificada
proven consistency over time
DO de pago
single estate appelation
what is the local controlling body for each region in spain
consejo regulador
DO and DOCa wines bear seal issued by local consejo regulador
what does crianza mean
2 years in winery with 6months minimum wood aging for reds
wat does sin crianza mean?
wine without wood aging
waht does vino joven mean
intended for early drinking
what makes a spanish wine a reserva?
good wine from a good vintage
minimum 3years in the winery
1year minimum wood aging for reds
what makes a spanish wine a grand reserva?
best wines from exceptional vintages
sold after a minimum of 5 years at winery
2years minimum oak aging
name 3 other names for tempranillo
Cencibel, tinto fino, tinto del pais
where is the rias baixas
Atlantic coast directly north of potugals vinho verde area
what grape acounts for 90% of vinyards in the rias baixas
if albarino appears on a lable of rias biaxas wine what percentage must that wine contain?
Vino comarcal VC
wine made from a specific area, like regional vin de pays
what does rosado mean
where is Ribera del duero
what is major viriatal and explain soil type
north central Spain on duero river
tinto del pais (tempranillo)
sand limestone and gravel with large riverbed stones
where is the famed vega Sicilia from?
Ribera del duero Spain
name the 3 main districts of Rioja DOCa
rioja alta
rioja baja
rioja alavesa
most wines are a blend from all 3 districts
what is the main soil type of rioja alta
what is the main grape of rioja baja?
rioja alavesa has what type of soil and produces what main grape varietal
chalky soils producing tempranillo
where is Navarra and what are they traditionally known for!
overlaps some of the northeast boundry of Rioja most traditionally know for rosada made from grenacha
what does cava mean
"cellar" Spanish answer to method champenoise
what region is best known for cava?
penedes in catalunya produces 90%
what 3 varieties are used to make most cava
macabeo(the workhorse with late budding to esure against spring frost), paralleda(cosisered best ingredient producing apply wines) and xarel-lo(brings in the flavor) although both chard and Pinot noir are now allowed
Where is priorat and what kind of soil
south west district of catalunya
poor stony and slate soil known as "llicorella"
the best wines of the priorat are made from what 2 varietals
old vine granacha or carnena (carignan)
who is considered to have made priorat fashionable?
Rene barbier
la mancha DO
large central plateau
widespread plantings of airen for brandy
The elonorate blending process of sherry is called what?
the solara system
briefly explain the solara system
the progressive topping off of older barrels from younger ones of the same style
what is flor?
jarez yeast that forms a breadlike layer In the production of fino sherry, which works like a protective layer to oxygen
describe fino sherry
the lighter of 2 sherry style in which flor forms and protects the wine from contact with air. Usually delicate and dry usually made from palamino fino grapes
descibe oloroso sherry
fuller style of sherry in which it is matured in contact with air and deliberatly fortified around 18% in which to kill any production of flor. Produce som of the best sweet sherries best from dried pedro ximenez grapes (PX)
what are the 2 main grapes of sherry
palomino and pedro ximenez (PX)
Designatio/Min. Aging/Min. inCask ----------------------------
Vino Joven
Vino Roble
Gran Reserva
Designation/Min. Aging/Min. in Cask

Vino Joven/None/None

Vino Roble/Less than 2 yrs/Less than 6 months

Crianza/Red: 2 years/Red: 6 months
White: 1 year/White: 6 months

Reserva/Red: 3 years/Red: 1 year
White: 2 years/White: 6 months

Gran Reserva/Red: 5 years/Red: 18 months
White: 4 years/White: 6 months

Vino Joven made to drink within the year. Light, fruity wines with little or no time spent in oak. As of the 1990s, replacing the slightly derogatory term ‘Sin Crianza’. Also known as Vino del Año.
Denominacion de Origen Calificada – DOCa
Comparable to the Italian DOCG. Rioja and Priorat are currently the only two wines with this status.
Denominacion de Origen de Pago – DO Pago
Special category introduced in 2003. Reserved for single estates of the highest international reputation that might or might not be a member of a formal DO. Where a Vino de Pago is a member of a DOCa it can call itself ‘Vino de Pago Calificada’. The first two are Dominio de Valdepusa and Finca Elez.
Vinos de Calidad Con Indicacion Geografica – VCIG
Introduced in the new laws of 2003, this is a ‘quality wine with a geographical origin’. This level acts as a stepping stone to DO status. VCIG zones may apply for a promotion to DO status after 5 years. Equivalent to a French VDQS.
• Rioja DOCa
Northern Spain. Bilbao is the central town of Rioja. Other important cities include: Logrono, Haro, and Cinicero. Northeast of Ribera del Duero, immediately southwest of Navarra. Red, white, and rosé. Most famous for red wine production. 1926: This was the first region in Spain to be demarcated. The name of the regulating body in Rioja is the Consejo Regulador. Ebro is the main river of Rioja. There are two major climatic factors in Rioja: 1) The Ebro River moderates the climate, and 2) Sierra de Cantabria protects Rioja from the Atlantic rains. 1991: First region in Spain to receive DOCa status. Temperate climate, regulated by proximity to Atlantic and Mediterranean. Reds from Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano. Note: Some individual wineries have special dispensation to use Cabernet Sauvignon (e.g. Marques de Riscal) on historical grounds. Whites from Viura, aka Macabéo, (95%) and Malvasía Riojana (5%), and the rare Garnacha Blanc. As of 2007, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Verdejo may be used, although none may be made as a varietal or combine for more than 49% of a blend. Most Rioja is a blend from all three main wine-producing districts, due to both historic and current small vineyard holdings. Small, very good single district wines are out there, however. Some producers are even having success with single estate wines. Typical Rioja blend is Tempranillo (70%); Garnacha (15%); Graciano (7.5%); Mazuelo (7.5%). Some old vine varietals which died out in the 1st half of the 20th century have been brought back: Maturana (red, white, and brown), Tempranillo Blanco, Turruntés, and Monastel de Rioja are now also permitted. Only the Maturana red and white have mature vines as of 2007. Traditionally, Rioja was fermented fast and aged for extended periods in American oak. The best examples display a pale color but layers of flavors. Extremely variable in style. The modern approach is towards a longer maceration of Tempranillo. Older French oak for aging. Result is less ‘traditional’, deeper colored, more fruit-forward wines.
o Rioja Alta
: Produces some of the best wines of Rioja. Clay soils and proximity to Atlantic give concentration and fruit
o Rioja Baja
The largest of the Rioja sub-regions. The soils are mostly composed of ferruginous clay and alluvial silt. The climate is Mediterranean semi-arid. Garnacha is the dominant variety. Wines tend to be full-bodied and alcoholic.
o Rioja Alavesa
This is the smallest (and often considered the best) of the sub-regions. The soils are mostly calcareous clay, the climate is temperate. Tempranillo is the dominant variety. In general, the wines tend to be quite full-bodied and fruity.
○ Consejo Regulador??????

: Classifies the quality of each vintage in five categories, from E (excellent) to VG, G, S (Standard), and A (Average). There has not been an ‘Average’ vintage since 1972, nor a ‘Standard’ one since 1984. Recent ‘Excellent’ vintages: 2005, 2004, 2001, 1995, 1994
● Navarra DO:
Overlaps part of the Rioja Baja region. Traditionally known for rosado made from Garnacha. Rosado still accounts for over half of production. The problem for red wines has been the reliance on Garnacha. The modern approach is more Tempranillo and some Cabernet Sauvignon. Some very good wines, similar to Rioja.
Navarra is divided into 5 districts
○ Baja Montana: Highest and wettest area. Mostly Tempranillo. Produces some of Navarra’s best rosés.
○ Ribera Alta: One of the most important districts. Reds, rosés, and whites produced.
○ Ribera Baja: Hot, dry area that overlaps the Rioja Baja district. Mostly red wines. Good quality sweet Moscatel wines.
○ Tierra Estrella: Straight-forward fruity reds and rosés.
○ Valdizarbe: Smallest of the Navarra districts. Good value reds and rosés.
● Ribera del Duero DO
Northern central Spain. Northeast of Rueda, southwest of Rioja. Famous red wine area. Also produces some rosé. Original fame was due to Vega Sicilia. Demarcated in 1982. Extreme climate, with scorching summers and very cold winters. The heat is tempered by the altitude. Tempranillo (aka Tinto Fino), Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Malbec, Merlot. Tinto Fino must make up 75% of the blend. All other grapes are classified as experimental, except for some old plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha at Vega Sicilia. This is one of the fastest growing and most fashionable areas, with lots of money flowing in from Madrid. Wine prices are correspondingly high. This area produces some of the best red wines in Spain.
• Rueda DO
: Northern central Spain. Southwest of Ribera del Duero, just east of Toro, on the Duero River. White wines only. Traditionally known for Sherry-style wines from Viura. Now known for fresh, crisp, cold fermented dry whites from Verdejo. Flourished in Middle Ages, but fell into decline after phylloxera. Replanted to Palomino for fortified styles until 1970s. Awarded DO status in 1980. Harsh Continental climate with a high altitude. Soils are sandy, chalky, alluvial, and gravel. Vines are bush-trained low, far apart. Varietals include Verdejo, some Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, Viura, some Tempranillo; formerly, a lot of Palomino. Min 50% Verdejo. Often blended with Viura and/or Sauvignon Blanc. Pre-fermentation skin maceration, barrel fermentation, and barrel ageing are not uncommon. Rueda Superior must contain at least 85% Verdejo.
● Toro DO:
Historically and currently known for full-bodied, powerful red wines made mostly from Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) and Garnacha. Improved technology has led to better, fresher, and more approachable reds.
● Bierzo DO
: Exciting region. Red, white, and rosado produced. Reds are the best, from a min. 70% Mencía grape
● Cigales DO:
• La Mancha DO:
Castilla-La Mancha
Just off-center (south) in Spain. From the Moorish word Manxa, or ‘parched earth’. Largest region in Spain. Traditional source of base wine, from Airén, for brandy production. Mostly planted with Airén. Traditional source of base wine for brandy production. Improved technology as of late, leading to better wines.
● Valdepeñas DO:
Castilla-La Mancha
Part of Castilla-La Mancha. Extension of La Mancha. Reputation for higher quality wines. Mostly reds. Best are from Cencibel (Tempranillo). Good examples are similar to Rioja
● Almansa DO:
Castilla-La Mancha
East of La Mancha DO and next to the Levante. Although there's a small amount of white wine made from Merseguera grapes, about 75% of wine produced is red, from Monastrell, Cencibel, and Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouchet). Some Cabernet Sauvignon has also been planted.
● Priorat DOCa
: Northeast part of Spain, almost completely surrounded by Tarragona. The famous soil here is Llicorella, a poor, stony, volcanic and slate soil. Very little mechanization. Cariñena is the most planted and traditional variety. Priorat’s current reputation is being built on Garnacha-based wines. Some Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. Exciting high quality region. Dominated by cooperatives, but there are some very good independent producers.
● Costers del Segre DO
: This DO was initially created to accommodate Raïmat (owned by Codorníu). Used to be an infertile salt plain. Took 50 years to make soils fit for vines. Varietal wines from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. Excellent still and sparkling Chardonnay.
• Penedès DO
Northeast Spain. Lots of Cava production. Some very good still red wines. Prior to phylloxera, 80% of area planted to black grapes. White varieties were planted due to the popularity of sparkling wines at the time of grafting. Famous for quantity of Cava produced and Miguel Torres. Varietals include Monastrell, Garnacha, Cariñena, Macabéo, Xarel-lo, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Parellada, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Noir. Cava means cellar and is Spain’s answer to the use of the term Méthode Champenoise. Most Cava is made with native varieties: Macabéo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo. Chardonnay is being used, most notably by Codorníu. Soils are limestone with sand, chalk, and clay.
There are three sub regions.
○ Bajo Penedès: The coastal area and warmest area. Good for full-bodied reds. Mostly red grapes: Monastrell, Garnacha, and Cariñena dominate.
○ Medio Penedès: Middle, hilly section. Grapes grown at altitudes of 200 meters. Essentially Cava country, but home to some very good new style reds. Mostly Macabéo and Xarel-lo planted for Cava production. Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Monastrell for reds.
○ Penedès Superior: Sometimes known as Alt Penedès. Furthest inland area. Grapes are grown on limestone soils at altitudes of 500-800 meters. Mostly white varieties: Parellada, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer, with some Pinot Noir.
● Tarragona DO
70% of production is white wine, most of which is sold to Cava houses in Penedès. There are three sub regions: Campo de Tarragona, Falset, and Ribera d’Ebre. There is an increasing interest in red wines due to the success of Priorat. Many of these are fashioned in the same style as Priorat.
what are the 3 sub regions of penedes
○ Bajo Penedès: The coastal area and warmest area. Good for full-bodied reds. Mostly red grapes: Monastrell, Garnacha, and Cariñena dominate.
○ Medio Penedès: Middle, hilly section. Grapes grown at altitudes of 200 meters. Essentially Cava country, but home to some very good new style reds. Mostly Macabéo and Xarel-lo planted for Cava production. Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Monastrell for reds.
○ Penedès Superior: Sometimes known as Alt Penedès. Furthest inland area. Grapes are grown on limestone soils at altitudes of 500-800 meters. Mostly white varieties: Parellada, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer, with some Pinot Noir.
● Somontano DO:
Means ‘under the mountain’. Foothills of the Pyrenees. East of Navarra along the Pyrenees. The blending of Tempranillo and Monastrell with Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Merlot. Up-and-coming area for Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. Has the potential to be one of Spain’s best areas.
● Cariñena DO
Hot, dry area mostly known for Garnacha-based reds. Some straight-forward whites are made from Viura and Garnacha Blanca.
• Rías Baixas DO
: In Galicia, the northwest corner of Spain on the coast. White wines only. Softly-perfumed with crisp acidity. Great ‘food wines’. Strong influence from the Atlantic. Damp, green area. Irregular Atlantic inlets called rías (effectively shallow fjords) are lined with densely forested hills. Vines have traditionally been trained on pergolas. This high canopy serves two functions: allows for other agricultural products on the vine floor, and ventilates vines (necessary due to damp conditions). Varieties include Albariño, Treixadura, Loureira, and Torrontes. Albariño accounts for 90% of the vineyard area. 100% Albariño required if the word appears on the label.
Several sub regions,
● Ribeiro DO
Still relatively coastal, but sits just east of Rías Baixas. Similar wines to Portugal’s Vinho Verde. Atlantic influenced climate. Traditionally known for Palomino-based white wines. Albariño, Treixadura, and Torrontes-based wines are more interesting.
what are Several sub regions, from north to south: of rias baixas
○ Ribeira do Ulla: South of Santiago de Compostela. Small, and recently accredited as a subzone.
○ Val do Salnés: The coolest, dampest, and most important subregion. The thick-skinned Albariño grape dominates here because it can best resist the mildew that persistently threatens.
○ Soutomaior: South of Pontevedra. Small, and recently accredited as a subzone.
○ Condado do Tea: Tea, pronounced ‘Tay-er’, is a small tributary of the River Miño. This is the warmest subzone, being furthest from the coast, and its wines tend to be more powerful and less refined.
○ O Rosal: Best vineyards are carved out of clearings on the south-facing hillsides and produce wines of noticeably lower acidity than those of Val do Salnés.
• Jumilla DO
Monastrell makes up 85% of vineyard plantings. Big, high-alcohol red wines.
• Yecla DO
A small region north of Jumilla.
• Bullas DO:
• Alicante DO:
Alicante was prominent hundreds of years ago for making a thick, rich aged wine called Fondillón. It was strong and sweetish, just the way many wines along the coast were made. Though still highly coveted among experts, today they are rare. Potential is very high, as recent years have shown. Reds made from Monastrell are the most traditional, but foreign varieties are also showing promise.
● Valencia DO
The best known DO of the Levante. East coast of Spain by the city of the same name. Makes good reds from Monastrell, and good Moscatel dessert wine.
• Uitel-Requena DO
Further inland. Kind of a legendary wine region in Spain. The grape variety of choice was Bobal, which stood out for its fine rosés. They can still be found, but the future holds in store for Utiel-Requena a different fate: red wine. More reliable and reputable grape varieties have crept into the vineyards and have adapted very well to the favorable climate. A region to watch in the future.
what are the 3 climactical regions of spain
Green Spain – the northern area from Galicia to Basque region is wet with 2,000 ml/80 inches of rain – summers are hot and winters are cold
Meseta – extreme continental weather with freezing winters and blazing summers and low rainfall – 500 ml/20 inches or less
Mediterranean coast – from southern Catalonia to border with Portugal – generally a hot climate moderated by sea breezes – arid in summer
As always, microclimates define the best vineyards
what is En cabeza
vine head low to the ground to keep cool
Leaves trained to shade grapes
Grapes pick up early morning dew and remain cooler for longer
Arid and Semi-arid Climate
what is En Vaso
Bush or Gobelet
Semi-arid and Full Continental Climate
what is En Cordon
Full Continental to Temperate Climate:
En Cordon – vines trained along wires
Many variants but often done to facilitate mechanical harvesting
what is Airén
The most planted variety in Spain according to acreage (approx. ½ million ha.)
Traditionally used for base wine for brandy production
Improved viticulture and vinification practices has led to better, refreshing but essentially simple wines
known as Mountain Wine in Victorian times
4 regions of production – wine must be aged in city of Malaga
Rich, raisiny fortified wines from Pedro Ximenez. Either fortified during fermentation to retain sweetness or grapes are dried and then fermented to ensure residual sugar. Develops a flor. This is an excellent, underrated dessert wine. Arrope used to sweeten the wine
Telmo Rodriquez has helped to revive this historic production area
2 grape varieties are planted:
Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel
Grapes are dried on mats
Fermentation stopped by addition of spirit
Solera ageing
Finest quality is “Lagrima”
This area is going through some tough times
The best producer, Scholtz Hermanos, closed down in 1996
Jerez de la Fronterra soil
Climate: Hottest wine region in Spain. Sub-tropical. 300 days of sunshine per year. 650 mm of rain, all between October and May. Two important prevailing winds: Levante is hot and grape-baking, and Poniente is wet and from the Atlantic
Jerez de la Fronterra grape varieties
• Palomino: Planted on Albariza soils. Most important variety making up 90% of all plantings. Thin-skinned and susceptible to rot. There are two types, Palomino de Jerez and Palomino Fino (considered the better of the two).
• Pedro Ximenez: Planted on Barro and Arena soils. Grapes get very ripe. Traditionally dried in the sun. Used for back-sweetening cream sherries and for very sweet varietal sherries.
• Moscatel: Planted on the poorest Barro and Arena soils. There are small amounts of pure varietal Moscatel sherry. Often used for local drinking. Some are used for sweetening purposes. Also sold as sultanas (raisins
Jerez de la Fronterra Soil type
Soil Type(s): There are three principal types of soil:
• Albariza: Makes up 62% of region. High chalk content. Very compact. Slippery and muddy when wet. Forms a hard crust when dry (keeps water from evaporating). Good drainage. Best grapes come from this soil. There are three subdistricts of Albariza soils. Chlorosis can be a problem in the most calcareous due to high lime content. The finest include a proportion of sand and clay as well. In its purest form, this limestone favors grapes for Fino. With clay mixed in, the vines favor Oloroso wines.
• Arena: Sandy. Yields higher quantities of lower quality wine.
• Barro: High clay content produces coarser, full-bodied wines.
Practices and Special Issues: Chlorosis can be a problem on calcareous Albariza soils (best way to fight is iron-resistant rootstock selection). Drought can be an issue. Water is precious, and gathered in Serpias (troughs) for later summer months’ irrigation. See ‘winds’ under climate. Average yield of grapes is 65 hl/ha (best vineyards max 85 hl/ha, and others max 100 hl/ha). Have recently adapted double Guyot vine trellising system. Mildew and rot can be a problem due to early summer rains. Manure fertilization.
explain in detail sherry vinification
• Pedro Ximenez grapes are spread out in the sun to increase sugar content. Plastic tunnels have replaced the traditional grass mats. These raisinated grapes are ten fermented. Very high potential alcohol, but left with residual sugar. Fortification is not always needed.
• Palomino grapes are pressed immediately to reduce oxidation. Some producers have presses in the vineyards. Free run and first press juice is used for top quality sherry (70%). The next pressings are used for Oloroso (20%). The balance is sent for distillation (10%). Max permitted yield of 72.5 liters/100 kg of grapes. Gypsum classically sprinkled on grapes (antiseptic; precipitates tartaric acids; increases acidity). This practice was recently stopped.
• Fermentation takes place in stainless steel or traditional 600 liter oak butts between 25º-30°. This creates aldehydes with ‘Sherry character’. Palomino grapes are always fermented to completely dry.
• After fermentation each tank or cask is tasted and classified. Classification depends on the amount of flor formation. There are two classifications: Fino and Oloroso.
• After classification, the wine is fortified with Mitad y Mitad (½ 95% spirit, ½ old wine): Finos to 15.5% (optimum for flor) and Olorosos to 18% (too high for flor development).
• Flor: A specific strain of film-forming saccharomyces. Diminishes glycerol and volatile acids. Increases aldehydes and esters. Protects wine from oxidation. Imparts a distinctive flavor. Very specific requirements for survival. The optimum alcohol level is 15.5%. Optimum temperature is 15º-20º. Must also have a low SO2 content, low tannin content, and a virtual absence of fermentable sugars. Flor also diminishes acetobacters (volatile acids) – which are killed off, anyway, at appx. 15.3% alcohol. Since Olorosos lack ‘flor protection’ from these acetobacters, they are fortified to a higher alcohol percentage to protect the wine from turning to vinegar (by the acetobacters).
• The finished wine is matured in a solera system using fractional blending to maintain consistency from year to year. House style takes precedence over vintage variability. 5 years for Finos, up to 10 years for Amontillados, up to 25 years for premiums. Important solera terms to know:
o Anada: Young, unblended wine.
o Criadera: Levels in the solera.
o Solera: The oldest criadera. Wine is bottled from the solera stage. A maximum of 1/3 is drawn out at a time.
• Run the Scales! Continual topping up 3 times a year for a period of years depending on Bodega and style.
• Solera gives the wine an oxidative quality (almonds).
• The wine is fortified before bottling to compensate for loss of strength during aging. Sweetening also takes place to produce the desired style. Cold stabilization, fining, and filtration are utilized immediately prior to bottling.
what are 3 major towns for sherry production
Puerto de Santa María, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Jerez de la Fronterra.
Styles of Sherry• Fino
5 classifications
o Fino: Fino is both a classification and style. Fino is light, dry, and delicate with pungent flor aromas. Must be drunk young and relatively soon after opening.
o Amontillado: Dry or medium-sweet aged Fino sherry. Has some oxidation and brown-yellow color. Nutty. While the best are dry, some are sweetened with sweet wine.
o Manzanilla: Finos aged on the coast in Sanlucar de Barrameda at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. Here there is a cooler, maritime climate. The flor is thick, and the resultant wine is even more pungent than Fino. Here the humidity pretty much guarantees a permanent cap of flor that insulates the wine, making this the palest and lightest of the sherries, with a very characteristic iodine note.
o Manzanilla Pasado: A Manzanilla that has lost its flor. Made in the same manner as the Amontillado of Jerez, but more elegant, but less well-known; like Manzanilla, it is made exclusively in Sanlucar de Barrameda.
o Pale Cream: A non-aged, medium-sweet (sweetened) Fino.
Styles of Sherry• Oloroso
3 classifications
o Oloroso: A type of classification and a sherry style. Means ‘fragrant’. Higher in alcohol, dark and nutty. The best quality ones are dry. This term is often abused for cheaper styles.
o Cream: Oloroso that has been sweetened by the addition of Pedro Ximenez grapes. Can range from commercial to very high quality. Best should be dark, sweet, and delicious.
o Amoroso and Brown: Commercial styles that are softly-sweetened Olorosos.
Styles of Sherry• Palo Cortado
o Palo Cortado: Neither a Fino nor an Oloroso. Happens by a fluke. Starts off as an Amontillado, but loses its flor early on. The style is therefore in-between. Rich, nutty, and complex. Generally dry.
Styles of Sherry• Pedro Ximenez
o Pedro Ximenez: Primarily produced as a sweetening agent. Sometimes released as limited bottlings. Not solera-aged. May be vintage-dated. Deep, dark and huge. Best served on/with ice cream.
Styles of Sherry• Moscatel
o Moscatel: Rich, raisiny delight.
Almacenista Sherries
Lustau commercialized this concept. These are Sherries from a private stockholder who purchases a portion of a Bodega’s production and ages it, often for 30 years or more. Always top quality, the stockholder sells it back, after aging, to the Bodega to bottle it pure and unblended, then release it. Every style of Sherry may be produced this way, and the Almacenista’s name may be on the bottle. Fractions on the label indicate the number of bottles in the solera (e.g. 1/38, 1/17, 1/10). Sometimes the Bodegas use this wine to blend into their houses for greater depth and character in the commercial blends.
points about sherry Service
• Copitas is proper stemware.
• Serve dry Finos chilled (48°) and consume quickly (½ bottles).
• Serve sweet Finos and Olorosos at cellar temperature and consume with 1½ weeks (gas the bottle).
Montilla-Moriles DO
A DO wine from the Cordoba province in southern Spain. Same styles as Sherry. Very hot area, and grapes have a very high potential alcohol. Fortification is the exception rather than the rule. Pedro Ximenez makes up about 90% of the plantings. This area also supplies PX wine to the Sherry trade. Fermentation is carried out in large traditional tinajas. Olorosos are kept in casks with no ullage.
There are two types of soil:
• Alberos: Chalky soil similar to Albariza.
• Ruedos: A reddish, compact loam.

There are three qualities of juice:
• Free-run: Fino
• First Pressing: Oloroso
• Second Pressing: Distillation
Albariza soils
Very high chalk content
approximately 40-50% chalk, the rest being a blend of white limestone marl, clay and sand
Very porous, compact – good drainage
Slippery and muddy when wet spongy nature of the chalk soaks up rainwater – then dries and seals to form a hard crust and retain moisture
3 subdistricts of albariza soils
The most calcareous are difficult due to potential chlorosis
The finest include a proportion of sand and clay
These soils yield the finest grapes for sherry
Arena soils
soils are sandy and generally yield twice as much wine but of poor quality
Barro soils
soils are high in clay content and give more full-bodied & coarser wine
The Pago System
Albariza land is divided into pagos or individual vineyards
Approx. 150 – some less than a hectare, some several thousand
Hotter and higher pagos tend to grow grapes that make good oloroso wines
Coastal pagos favour finos
Some vineyards names appear on the label: Añina, Balbaina, Carrascal, Macharnudo, Marti Miguel, Miraflores, Torrebreva, Los Tercios
How the Solera works
Imagine a three-rowed pyramid of casks – each a 500-600 litres butt or bota
In any year, only 1/3 of each cask can be bottled and sold
Bottles are filled from the bottom row of bota, called the solera
After wine has been withdrawn, topping up comes from each successive row above, known as the criadera (the nursery)
The final row will contain the latest year’s añadas
Añada means
young, unblended wine
Criadera means
different levels of wine from the same solera
Solera on bottle means
oldest criadera and the wine for bottling is drawn from this row

No more than 1/3 can be drawn out per year – usually only 20%
Age-Dated Sherries
When a Sherry taster discovers a particularly good batch of wine they will often take it to a special part of the bodega so it can age alongside other exceptional varieties.
As with all Sherries, the process involves the intricate blending of different batches. The difference is that in this part of the bodega the Sherry can trace its roots back to the 18th or 19th century.
These centuries-old wines are the pride of the bodegas and have such an exceptional quality that they're hardly ever sold. In fact, until recently only family members, trusted employees or visiting dignitaries ever tasted them.
In recent years some bodega owners have started to sell a limited amount of these special wines to the public. And in response the Regulatory Council of the Jerez has created two special categories of Sherry: Vinos de más de 20 años (V.O.S.), which is granted to wines of more that 20 years old, and Vinos de más de 30 años, (V.O.R.S.), which is granted to wines aged 30 and over.
To qualify for either of these the Sherry has to pass a rigorous test by an independent committee that firstly checks the age of the wine and then decides if it has the proper quality. Even if it meets the age requirements it has to meet the taste test to be successful.
Once this has been completed the Sherry can include the V.O.S or V.O.R.S on the label