PM SPIRITS PROJECT, SINGLE CASK SHERRY SELECTIONS, SACA DE JUNIO DE 2021
Over the past decade sherry rose out of obscurity to become a cool accessory of the in-crowd of knowledgeable, adventurous drinkers. And that trajectory shows no signs of cresting, as a new generation of independent bottlers is on the hunt to revolutionize the way we think of Sherry — sourcing small batch product, expanding the definition of what may bear the name, and showing, in one brilliant expression after the next that, as Punch put it in an article in January, Sherry is not "a standardized, industrial wine."
One of the drivers of this movement is the indefatigable Nicolas Palazzi of PM Spirits, and the collection he has recently released — all four of which we are fortunate to be able to bring to you today, and at a special Concierge Family price — is a dazzling showcase. Not just of Sherry's range of styles, but also of the power, depth, and complexity to be found in these incomparably delicious and now trending wines.
Regular readers of this space know that we would follow Palazzi pretty much anywhere he wanted to take us — the man has impeccable taste. But more than that, this self-described "spirit nerd" possesses an unerring ability to get his hands on rare, often hidden casks that open our eyes to new worlds.
His partner on this Sherry project is none other than Eduardo Ojeda — for decades the chief winemaker at Valdespino and La Guita, co-owner of cult sherry bottlers Equipo Navazos, and senior advisor to Grupo Estévez, perhaps the most revered Sherry bodega in Spain.
Together they have bottled some of the finest fortified wine to be found in Jerez today, and in the process delivered a thrilling statement of authenticity, quality, and craft.
Sherry is, truly, a universe unto itself, and so, before I get to the Sherries themselves, I’d just like to situate you with a couple of crucial data points:
The first is that most Sherry, like Madeira, ages in a solera system, which stores younger wines in an upper tier of a criadera, a kind of nursery, and blends them systematically with more matured wines. The result is that it is difficult to speak of a single vintage, because every bottle of Sherry is the product of a continuous blend of vintages.
The second is that aging is vital to the process of creating a dry Sherry, and that there are two categories for maturing the wine — biologically aged, which ages beneath a layer of yeast called flor, or veil of flor, and oxidatively aged, which takes place without flor and interacts with oxygen. Neither method is superior to the other; which one is used for a particular Sherry is determined by the winemaker, and in some cases both are used.
Now, on to these glorious Sherries ...
The Fino (15% ABV) is a single cask that spent 5 years aging beneath a veil of flor, in a bodega in El Puerto de Santa Maria. Previously designated only for blending purposes, never bottled on its own, it shows itself to be strikingly, thrillingly distinct, full of character and delicate complexity.
The Amontillado is a blend of several casks from the criaderas of a bodega that has been making Sherry since the 1800s. Selected for its finesse after fermentation, it was fortified to 15% ABV and then aged under flor for 8-10 years. After that, it aged oxidatively for 5-7 more years.
Originally intended to become a Fino, the Palo Cortado is a blend of several casks from intermediate, or middle-tier, criaderas. It aged for several years under a veil of flor, and then, after the yeast died, another 10+ years oxidatively.
Finally, the Oloroso, a Sherry traditionally prized for its full-bodied richness and nuttiness. Initially fortified to 17% AV to prevent formation of flor, this is a blend of several casks from notable criaderas and spent the entirety of its aging exposed to oxygen.
What is exciting to see, beyond the quality and craft on display in each, is that they open the door to new alternatives to sipping rums, Cognacs, whiskeys, and bourbons, not to mention new and delicious possibilities for pairing.
If you have yet to join the Sherry revolution, this is a marvelous opportunity to plant a flag in a new frontier of pleasure!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with products estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in CT, IL, MA, MI, NC, NY, TN, VA, or WI. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.