Bodegas Fernando De Castilla Antique Pedro Ximenez Importer Notes
“The NV Antique Pedro Ximenez is produced from raisined Pedro Ximénez grapes in a solera system, and represents half of the production of the range. Mahogany-coloured, it reveals plenty of notes of marinated balsamic herbs, liquorice and a fresh touch of candied apricots. The palate is fresh, sweet, with echoes of the raisins, with secondary notes of treacle and molasses and a lingering finish.”
Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla came into being in 1960. It took over an old sherry cellar and some brandy soleras. Owner Fernando Andrada-Vanderwilde could trace his winemaking history back 200 years. His focus was quality brandy, and quality Pedro Ximinez.
1999 saw the company sold and quality went to a new high. Especially after acquiring an almacenista (stockholder of old Sherry). This allows the company to make rare, old Sherry of the very best quality.
Jerez in southwestern Spain is where Sherry comes from. Sherry is a fantastic product. Unique because of local conditions, the ‘Solera’ system, and Flor yeast. It is impossible to replicate these wines. Sherry can be anything from young to quite old and dry as dry can be to luscious and sweet. Palomino is the grape for dry Sherry. Sweeter wines use Pedro Ximenez (PX) and Muscat of Alexandria (Moscatel).
The grape variety and style of wine from Jerez in Spain also known as Sherry. Best described as liquefied Christmas cake, it tastes of raisins and dehydrated fruits, chocolate, caramel with many more nuanced flavours. The region of Montilla grows almost all Pedro Ximenez grapes used to make Sherry. Sherry style Amontillado means “in the style of Montilla”. In the region of Montilla they use Pedro Ximenez almost exclusively with their Sherry styled wines (can’t be called Sherry though!). For the Sherry PX, the super-ripe grapes are sundried before a brief fermentation and then fortification leaving a lot of residual sugar. After that, a long and oxidative aging process. The best PX are 20 or 30 years old.
The Solera system used is Sherry is a way of fractional blending. There are many stages in the solera. Wine is bottled from the oldest barrels (no more than one third is taken each bottling). Then those barrels are topped up with the next oldest barrels. This can go through many levels of age. Therefore some of the oldest barrels have wine that is at least 30 years old but may be much older.
This differs drastically from Champagne or Port blending. In Champagne or Port, they blend separate wines to achieve the desired flavour. In the solera, the fractional blending takes place constantly and the final product is the results of many years.