Sandeman Jerez, `Character` Medium Dry Amontillado
Spain

Sandeman Jerez, `Character` Medium Dry Amontillado
£ 10.45, 50 cl

Sherry

95% Palomino 5% Pedro Ximénez

A delicious off-dry sherry, sweetened with the addition of Pedro Ximénez. Notes of soft caramel, dried fruits and roasted nuts linger on the smooth finish.

Tasting notes

Medium gold in colour with amber hints. This is a complex sherry, with pronounced aromas which reflect each stage of the production process. Yeasty, bready notes from the flor yeast are complemented by oxidative nutty and dried fruit characters. The addition of Pedro Ximénez adds notes of raisins and treacle as well as a well-balanced sweetness. The finish is smooth and long, with lingering notes of roasted nuts.

Vinyards

The dry base wine is produced from Palomino grapes grown in vineyards located in the best areas of the Jerez demarcated region. The ‘albariza’ soils here are composed of 80% chalk as well as magnesium and clay. Deep channels are often dug into the soil between the vines in the winter to capture and retain rainwater to sustain them through the hot Jerezano summers, during which temperatures can exceed 38°C. The majority of Pedro Ximénez grapes come from the Montilla-Moriles region, which is hotter and less humid than Jerez. The Pedro Ximénez grapes are raisined in the sun before they are vinified. The evaporation of water from the grapes concentrates the sugars, acids and flavours. When these raisins are pressed, an intense and concentrated juice is yielded which can take many months to ferment given the high sugar 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 is aged in the solera system for an average of nine years, and is sweetened with a small proportion of Pedro Ximénez wine to add richness and weight.

Producer

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. First painted in 1928 by George Massiot Brown, the ‘Sandeman Don’ is one of the world's first ever brand images and the first major icon in the wine world. 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 primarily associated with Port wines, Sandeman has 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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