Continuing from its Part I, Sommelier Gagan SHARMA continues to share his learnings from the travels to the Sherry Triangle. Here, he provide in-depth information in to the fascinating word of oxidative Sherries – Amontillados, Palo Cortados, and Olororso. Forget not to read him placing his bets on the future of Sherries.
Take a sip, wait a moment, and then, surprise!
The magic of Sherry seldom fails. Educated fine palates can’t take their hands off of a well-matured and age-refined Sherry. What has been poised as an afterthought for decades now, from a mahogany-hued, sticky, boozy, post-dinner sipper, it’s growingly gathering the confidence of acquiring much more space on wine lists, and coming in to the mainstream as a drink in its own. Oxidative Sherries have risen in stature since their revival in the mid 1980s. They’re now becoming the centre of talks amongst connoisseurs, sommeliers, and trade professionals. Some, as much the Grand Crus of Burgundy, the single estate Napa Cabernets, or the German Rieslings.
Hailing from Andalusia, the Sherry Triangle comprising of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa Maria, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The Sherries have two basic shades – biological and oxidative. Biologically produced sherries are a gift of a naturally occurring yeast, called Flor. It’s unique to these Southern Spanish regions. Flor sits on top of the liquid in the partially-filled barrel, protecting the wines from oxidation. And in the process, it delivers its own unique character and a salty, seaweed-like, coastal taste. These light, crisp, and linear wines are called Finos and Manzanillas. Oxidative Sherries, however, are fortified wines that are finished with a dose of Spanish brandy to stabilise them. They’re then rested for years with ample exposure to oxygen. These twany, golden, and copper-hued elixirs are classified as Amontillado, Oloroso, or Palo Cortado.