Character Med/Dry Amontillado Sherry

Jerez

Sandeman Jerez

The House of Sandeman was founded in London in 1790 by George Sandeman,...

a young Scot from Perth. Specialising in wines from Porto and Jerez, Sandeman was the first company to brand its name on a cask with a hot iron in 1805 and was one of the first to label and advertise its wines. The ‘Sandeman Don’ is one of the world's first ever brand images and the first major icon in the wine world, painted in 1928 by George Massiot Brown. The cape was modelled on the attire worn by university students in Porto, while the wide-brimmed hat was a nod to the family’s presence in Jerez. Although the brand is primarily associated with Port wines, they have been fully committed to sherry since George Sandeman first set up an office in Cádiz in 1809. Today, Sandeman concentrates its efforts in Jerez on the production of a handful of premium quality old solera sherries which have become known as masterpieces of the style.

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Vineyards

The dry base Amontillado sherry is produced from Palomino grapes grown in Sandeman's own vineyards located in the best areas of the Jerez demarcated region. Only vines with a lifespan of 30 years or more survive in this hot, arid climate where temperatures routinely rise to 38°C - their old root systems are capable of seeking out water several metres underground. The ‘albariza’ soils here are composed of 80% chalk as well as some magnesium and clay. Deep channels are often dug into the soil between the vines to capture and retain rainwater. The majority of PX grapes come from the Montilla-Moriles region, which is hotter and less humid. This is largely because grapes destined for sweet PX wines are raisined in the sun before they are vinified. If they were left to raisin in the humid conditions of Jerez, there would be a much greater threat of rot. The evaporation of water from the grapes concentrates the sugars, acids and flavours, leaving very sweet raisins with a low water content.

Vinification

The Palomino grapes are fermented into a dry base wine before being fortified to around 15% and entering the Solera system. A layer of flor yeast develops on the surface of the wine, protecting it from oxygen and allowing the wine to age biologically. Later, the wine is re-fortified to 17.5% - this extra alcohol kills the flor and the wine becomes exposed to oxygen, allowing it to develop complex notes of dried fruits and roasted nuts. The wine ages for an average of nine years, and is sweetened with a small proportion of PX wine to add richness and weight.

Tasting Notes

Medium gold in colour with amber hints. This is a pronounced and complex wine, with characteristics reflecting each stage of its production process. Yeasty, bready notes from the flor yeast are enriched by oxidative nutty and dried fruit characters. The addition of PX adds notes of raisins and treacle as well as a well-balanced hint of sweetness. The finish is smooth and long, with lingering characters of roasted nuts.

Vintage Information

Vintage NV
Grape varieties 95% Palomino
5% Pedro Ximénez
Region Jerez
Winemaker Jose Moreno Silvetti
Alcohol (ABV) 17.5%
Acidity 4.6g/l
Residual Sugar 45g/l
Wine pH 3.1