Unfashionable though it may be, Jerez is the home of Sherry. Its Fino, Manzanilla, Palo Cortado, Amontillado and Oloroso wines are beloved by a group of cognoscenti, renowned for offering complexity and remarkable value. Explore a range of its fortified – and the rare unfortified wines – below.

About the wines of Jerez

Some of the world’s most outrageously well-priced wines hail from the city of Jerez, the home of pale, tangy Fino and rich, savoury Oloroso Sherry. These unique wine styles have certainly not featured in the pages of Vogue recently but their distinctive flavours, produced using historic methods are cherished by wine lovers.

The region produces broadly two styles – the biologically aged Fino and Manzanilla styles (which are aged under a protective layer of yeast or flor), and those aged oxidatively (in barrel, exposed to the impact of air), such as Oloroso, with some that bridge the two – namely Amontillado and Palo Cortado wines.

The misperception of Sherry as a sweet drink reserved for the elderly has thwarted its ambitions. Wine lovers, however, know that the bone-dry, saline Fino and its sibling Manzanilla, produced in the nearby coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, offer exceptional quality despite its lack of popularity. What’s more, styles aimed at the wine cognoscenti have emerged in the form of unfiltered Sherry, known as en rama, offering an unadulterated expression of these classic styles.

At the other end of the style scale, the almost-black, sweet Sherries made from dried Pedro Ximénez (PX) grapes make decadent dessert wines. Olorosos can be sweet too (then technically Cream Sherry), having been sweetened with PX, but the truest expression of Oloroso is dry and full-bodied, sporting a deep-brown hue from a long period of oxidative ageing in stacked barrels that form the traditional Sherry solera.

When it comes to age, most are blended to create a house style but in a bid to show those with a keen interest that some wines are particularly rare, age dating has been introduced. VOS (Very Old Sherry) and VORS (Very Old Rare Sherry) denote the wines have an average minimum age of 20 and 30 years respectively.

There’s also a growing movement towards focusing on site rather than the vinification and ageing process for the wines, with a handful of producers making single-vineyard, unfortified Palomino Fino that highlights the potential of the region’s best terroir.


Please wait

We are preparing your content...