Full bodied wines contain a maximum of 5 grams of sugar per litre. ‘Palomino’ grapes are fermented and, upon the appearance of the ‘velo de flor’ (yeast film) on the surface, the winemaker decides on the alcohol content, between 15º and 17º or above. This determines the resulting type of Jerez full-bodied or dry wine, for example Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Palo Cortado.
Because of the special climatic conditions of the area, Manzanilla is a unique wine. Only Sanlúcar de Barrameda has the particular climate that permits the growth of the unique ‘velo de flor’ on the fermenting palomino grapes in the racks of barrels and boasts it’s own trademark ‘Denominación de Origen “Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda”’. The yeast layer imparts the very special flavours and shades that differentiate Fino and Manzanilla.
Manzanilla is a bright, straw coloured pale wine, with a sharp aroma that carries tones of almonds and freshly baked bread. It is fresh, light and gentle on the palate, with a dry ending. Usually between 15% and 17% alcohol by volume, it is best served very cold, between 6º and 8º C and consumed within 12 months of bottling. Once opened, a bottle of Manzanilla should kept refrigerated and consumed within 5 to 7 days.
As in the case of fino, Manzanilla is the perfect accompaniment for a whole range of tapas, especially for seafood such as prawns, sardines and the famous Cádiz speciality ‘pescaito frito’. Try it with shellfish in rice or oven baked fish. It is also great with salted and cured meats, grilled peppers and any salad.
Fino is a dry, white wine. It is also produced from the famous Jerez palomino grape and aged in American oak barrels under the ‘velo de flor’ yeast layer in the unique climate of the area.
Fino is a bright gold colour and has a delicate aroma, with tones of wild herbs. Very dry to the palate, yet light and delicate. It leaves pleasant fresh sensation and taste of almonds. With an alcohol by volume level of 15º, it should be served very cold, between 6º and 8º C some 12 months after bottling. Once open it should be kept refrigerated and consumed within 5 – 7 days.
Fino brings out flavours and is perfect with all tapas, especially shellfish, white fish and Spanish sausage. It pairs beautifully with rice dishes, mild cheese and Spanish ham. As also in the case of Manzanilla, Fino is excellent with sushi.
As with Manzanilla and Fino, Amontillado is produced from palomino grapes. Initially the Amontillado ages under the characteristic ‘velo de flor’ yeast layer in the biological aging process. A few years later the velo de flor dissipates and the Amontillado begins it’s second aging and oxidising period.
Amontillado is a clear and bright amber colour, with a subtle aroma and toasted tones and hints of dried fruits and wood. The palate is long and the taste is strong, with a prolonged dry ending. Best served between 12 and 14º. Once opened, the bottle can be kept refrigerated, tightly sealed and upright for around two months.
Amontillado is a marvellous accompaniment for blue and smoked fish. It is also perfect for white meat, artichokes or asparagus, salad with strong dressings, soups and consommés. Curries and other spicy dishes also go well with Amontillado.
Oloroso is also produced from the palomino grape. It is aged solely by means of oxidation because the 17º alcohol by volume prevents the formation of the velo de flor yeast layer. The slow, steady evaporation of the water from the juice through the wooden staves of the barrel concentrates the body of the wine throughout the ageing.
A mahogany coloured wine that darkens with in the ageing process. It has complex, strong aroma, with shades of dried walnuts and almonds, oak and dry leaves with sweet, toasted tones. Best served between 12º and 14º C and can be kept refrigerated, tightly sealed and upright for up to 2 months.
Oloroso is amazing with cured cheeses such as ‘payayo’, stews made with game such as partridge, or oxtail or Iberian pork cheek casseroles. A glass of Oloroso with a grilled red tuna steak is highly recommended.
Palo Cortado is one of the most unusual and mysterious of Jerez wines. Produced from select palomino grapes and of 15% alcohol by volume. The head wine makers mark the barrels that are destined to be ‘fino’ with a vertical chalk line ( a palo). After fortifying the fino ages for a year under the velo de flor yeast layer, it has a finesse, but with a more rounded body. The vertical mark on the barrel is marked (cut or ‘cortado) with a horizontal chalk line. The wine is fortified with 17% – 18% alcohol by volume rectified wine and is to become Palo Cortado. It is then aged for a further year, this time by oxidisation (without the yeast layer). The horizontal line cutting the vertical gives rise to the name Palo Cortado (cut line).
Palo Contado is glossy mahogany in colour, with an aroma of hazelnuts, dry palate, balanced, elegant and lingering. It combines the soft, delicate and sharp characteristics of Amontillado and the body and nose of Oloroso.
Best served 12º and 14º. Once open, keep refrigerated, well sealed and upright for around 2 months.
An ideal wine for those who enjoy savouring their wine slowly, seeking the deepest tones and notes. Dried fruit and cured cheese go extremely well with the strong flavour. At the dining table, it is wonderful with strong tasting dishes such as consommés, casseroles and game