OT: Palo Cortado Monteagudo

  • 20160821_134854-1Winery: Bodega Delgado Zuleta S. A. Avda. Rocío Jurado, s/n – 11540 Sanlúcar de Barrameda – España – Spain. Delgado Zuleta claims to be the oldest active producer of sherry. Founded in 1744 by Francisco Gil de Ledesma y Sotomayor, a knight and mayor of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, it gets its actual name from José Maria Delgado Zuleta who married with one of the descendants of Ledesma at the end of the 18th century.
  • Phone: +34 956 360 543
  • Winemaker: Salvador Real Figueroa
  • Website: http://www.delgadozuleta.com/en/  
  • Brand: Palo Cortado Monteagudo
  • DO: Jerez – Xeres – Sherry
  • Type: Palo Cortado.  Initially this wine is subject to biological aging process, however, less than an Amontillado; it then undergoes oxidative aging, with 10-12 years of aging in total by the“Criaderas & Solera”system in American oak casks.
  • 20160821_134911-1Year: Sherries are not allowed to be vintage dated, because all sherries are made through a blending system called ‘Solera System’. Some sherry brands have a year on the bottle. This is typically the year that either the bodega was started or the year that the Solera was started. It is NOT the year that the grapes for that sherry were harvested.
  • Alcohol: 19.0%
  • Grapes Variety: 100% Palomino fino.
  • Vineyards: Vineyards are up to 40 years old. When a new vineyard is planted, the vines yield grapes starting the second year, but the grapes are not used until the vines are 5 years old. From 5 to 25 years old, the quality and quantity of the grapes continue to improve. A 25 year old vineyard is considered to be the best vineyard. From 25 to 40 years old, the vines produce increasingly fewer grapes with a slight increase in quality. At 40 years old the vineyard is ploughed under and a new vineyard is planted. During the 40 year life of the vineyard, all of the grapes that are harvested are used for sherry, no table selection is necessary.
  • Soil: The type of soil is called ‘Albariza,’ consisting of clay, limestone, sand. Palomino likes soil with high (up to 85%) limestone content.
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: 14,85 € at the winery’s website
  • My wine rating: This is the first time I taste a Palo Cortado. I found it excellent, but I don’t consider myself qualified to rating this wine.

Solera System is a unique fractional blending system or process that is used to produce sherry. In the Solera System, sherry of one type is slowly drawn from the cask and slowly added to another cask, which contains sherry of the same type. In this manner sherry made from grapes grown in a recent vintage (for its freshness) is blended with sherry made from grapes grown in a earlier vintage (for its maturity). This fractional blending ensures consistency of each sherry type and eliminates the effects of each vintage. Only a small portion of each cask is drawn off or added to the next cask during the blending process in order not to disturb the maturation process of the sherry in the cask. The Solera System is done every day, thereby making sherry production very labour intensive. In earlier times, the sherry was drawn from one cask by filling a metal container. Today the sherry is drawn by mechanical pump with hoses from one cask to another cask. Each hose is smaller in diameter than a garden hose, and the pumping is done very slowly.

Read more about Palo Cortado in my previous post: Sherry & The Mystery of Palo Cortado.

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