From: Jerez, Spain
Varietal: Pedro Ximenez
Tasting: Clean bright almost pure amber with brassy golden highlights and some visible viscosity. In a standing glass, the aromas of fleshy fruit stand out: peach, apricot, and ripe plum but not ravaged. Rotating the glass awakens the pear and green apple, with the French oak providing no more than a slight hint of bitter almond, which balances the exuberant profusion of its fruity manifestation. A balanced experience on the palate from start to finish, which echoes the aromas and makes the mouth water with a pleasant underlying acidity underlying intense sweet fruit flavors.
Sweet, yes, but nowhere near as sweet as normal PX and much lighter too, both in weight and alcohol. The acidity level is perfect to carry through the flavour, mitigate the sweetness and give a real freshness to the wine. Great length, and quite possibly a long life ahead in bottle.
"On harvest days in our winery, we breathe the essence of clean and ripe fruit. Normally, as the wine ages and oxidizes, these aromas give way to others of greater complexity and less olfactory and gustatory fruitiness. But in this wine, we have preserved everything that a sweet Pedro Ximénez would have lost with the passage of time and the excessive contribution of oak." –José Antonio Zarzana, Winegrower
Pairing: With dessert, or drink as your dessert! Puddings and moist dense cakes that utilize rich dried fruits such as dates or raisins. Vanilla based ice creams, and anything caramel! Rice Pudding With Golden Raisins by Melissa Clark while sipping on a glass of this sherry is the perfect way to end a meal!
About: The Bodegas Ximénez-Spínola winery was founded in 1729 by the Spínola, a family of Italian origin that came to the Marco de Jerez region in the early eighteenth century following the Spanish wine exportation boom. Today, the winery is run by José Antonio Zarzana, a member of the ninth generation of the Spínola family.
For many years, the wines of the Bodegas Ximénez-Spínola winery had a great reputation in the English and the Dutch markets. It is important to note, however, that the winery did not sell all the wine that it produced, but only its highest quality barrels. One day, José Antonio´s grandfather had the idea of fortifying the unsold wine, and thus began the history of the Ximénez-Spínola Brandy, one of the most famous and exclusive Brandies produced in Jerez. Currently, the Bodegas Ximénez-Spínola produces 3,000 bottles of Brandy every year, and each one of these bottles is individually numbered and personally signed by José Antonio Zarzana's father, an eighth-generation Spínola often referred to as the “Boss” of the winery.
The fortified and sweet wines of the winery are produced by letting the grapes naturally dry in the sun with rotations every 30 minutes in order to ensure uniform exposure to the sun, along with cautious consideration of their humidity levels from the night before. After this exhaustive process the grapes become naturally concentrated with fructose. This, along with the long ageing in American oak barrels, is how the world renowned fortified and sweet wines of Ximénez-Spínola are made.
To ensure that each bottle reaches the appropiate quality standards, the Ximénez-Spínola winery markets a different amount of bottles every year, depending on the quality of the vintage. Thus, no vintage has ever exceeded 12,000 bottles.
The old wines of the Bodegas Ximenez-Spinola winery constitute some of the purest expressions of the Pedro Ximénez grape.
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