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A woven Christmas sweater: Gonzalez Byass “Nutty Solera” Medium Sherry

Tasting Note:

Eyes: clear, med amber, legs
Nose: clean, fully developed, pronounced intensity, grilled nuts, almonds, mushroom, fig, caramel, hint citrus and apple, earthy funk
Mouth: sweet, med+ body, med+ intensity, med- acid, high alcohol/fortification, grilled nuts, mushroom, bready, hint fruit, long length.
All in all: Very good quality: the wine has persistent and complex tertiary notes but lacks a touch of concentration and complexity. Drink now: not suitable for ageing.
Identity Guess:
Premium Madeira (made from Bual or Malmsey) from Portugal.
Is really: Mid-priced blended Sherry from Spain.

Gonzalez-Byass "Nutty Solera" Medium Sherry[Tasted during WSET Diploma class – Section 2 – Week 1]

A big example of the whole price and preference thing not matching here, since out of the three wines in our blind fortified lineup, this was the wine I designated as the highest quality (though all three were agreed-upon as very good quality). I don’t feel bad that it turned out to be the cheapest, but it certainly explains why these couple of young folks (couldn’t be older than 25) came into the store the other day looking for a sherry that approximated this exact one. That’s right – young innocent-enough-looking young’uns looking for sherry – for drinking. Sherry’s already one of the super-underdogs of the wine world, and it blows my mind that young people were seriously looking for one. But maybe there’s a hidden hipstery market that hasn’t been explored. I think I’m just optimistic.

This wine is apparently mainly Oloroso Sherry sweetened by the likes of Pedro Ximinez. It’s weird because the two types of sherry seem quite expensive separately, and you’d think that perhaps quality would maybe decrease when blended, but this isn’t the case. For this one, at least.

The wine had a pronounced grilled nut character, backed up by earthy notes of fig, mushroom, and a slight complex funk that all almost reminded me of an aged Cognac I once had. But if this partially reminds me of aged Cognac, then there’s definitely a Sherry that’s waiting to blow my mind. My mouth is ready.

I’m not sure why I thought it was Madeira – I think it was the unfamiliar complexity that got to me, but the lower acid makes sense here, with the Palomino grape inherently lacking such things. But the wine’s woven parts and its sweet warmth gives it Christmas sweater status.

Producer: Gonzalez Byass
“Nutty Solera”; Medium
 January 8, 2014


DipWSET, Certified Sommelier, garbage person.

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