Wines of Jerez (Sherry), Spain
Geography & Climate
At the very southern tip of Spain, Jerez DOC is world famous for bull-fighting and Sherry (or Xeres in French). Ripeness is never a problem, the region is blessed with abundant sunshine almost year-round but its close proximity to the ocean brings in cool coastal air, a essential ingredient in retaining the vital acidity in the grapes. Result from millions of years of sea fossil deposits, white chalky soil is found all over Jerez giving its wine distinct minerality.
Palomino grapes are average at best; they make into dry white wine with little characters and body. But here in Jerez, Palomino grapes are transformed into something spectacular, Sherry. Palomino grapes account for over 90% of the region’s production, followed by Pedro Ximenez (PX) which is mainly used for making of sweet wines or sweetening agent in making of Sherry. Only a very small amount of Moscatel is grown in the area, which is made into dry white wine by itself or used as blending wine.
There are 7 different kinds of Sherry, all can be classified into 2 style: a fresh lighter style, such as Fino and Manzanilla; while the rest are richer, darker and more complex known as Olorosos.
Sherry is often misunderstood and under-appreciated, many kinds are slightly oxidized and aren’t perceived as good quality wines. In fact, Sherry is adored not only in Spain but also in England and even France. Many Sherries are labeled in all 3 languages: “Jerez-Xeres-Sherry”.
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-Certified Sommelier (CMS)
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