So everyone, I’m down here in Jerez de La Frontera tasting wines that would make a diabetic fall over by just walking by the table. The world’s best dessert wines are here on display, such as: d’Yqeum, Gonzalez Byass, wines from The Republic of Georgia, Greece and beyond. You name it, it’s here! If it has more than 100 grams of sugar in it, you will most likely see it.
This morning started off with wines from around France made from Botrytis, followed by an Essencia (think Tokaji) containing 4% alcohol and 690 grams of sugar. The acidity was there to support the wine, and if I had a Gene Simmons tongue, I might have licked the glass clean. Take heaven, distill it down to a few drops of nectar and you have a wine that transports you to another planet. After tasting these, I couldn’t imagine a more delectable array of wines; however, as I was wandering through the tasting, I found some amazing international wines, including some straw wines from South Africa. Signal Hill made a wine with Muscat d’Alexandrie grapes dried on straw mats before pressing. It was pure unctuous candy. The grapes were so sweet and delectable that they had to build special building to protect the drying grapes from roving bands of baboons who enjoyed them as much as I do.
I continued to follow my lifelong quest to find those unique grapes that I’ve never heard of or tried before, and guess what, I didn’t have any trouble. For example, I tasted some amazing wines from Greece, such as Nyx, made from Mavrodphane and Korinthiaki grapes. This wine was rich and velvety smooth with aromas of cinnamon clove and baked caramel erupting from the glass. On the palate, I savored baked apples and caramel with a spice and sharp acidity to cut through the rich sweetness. I love finding things like this – unknown and hard to market, but I suppose that is the exact reason that I’m in the wine trade.
As far as Spain goes, I’ve been waiting to try their wines but I did end up having one interesting one from Bodegas Tradición. We visited with this Bodega during a needed break from sweet wines to try some dry Sherries. We were at first a bit disappointed with the somewhat one-dimensional amotillados and olorosos, not to mention a Palo Cortado that made me sad in its simple nature. It wasn’t until we went back to the sweet wines at Bodegas Tradición’s table that we tried a PX that showed strong acidity and richness that was not cloying as many PXs tend to be. It was fun and lively, in addition to being light – meaning that it didn’t need to be poured over ice cream to be enjoyed.
More soon from Jerez….Ryan