Pedro Ximenez 12 y.o. sherry
It is stated on the label – very sweet, but who would believe it?! Hello, my friends! The subject matter of the following lines will be the thick and sweet drink /wine/ Pedro Ximenez. You know that I review mostly whiskey here, but there are some other drinks that also fall into my glass due to their relation to the favorite malt elixir. Such is the wine in question /not a particular brand, but Pedro Ximenez sherry/, casks of which are used in the whiskey industry as a final element of the whiskey-making process. The relationship between sherry and whiskey is one-way – after a stay of the wine in the casks of European and American oak, they are often used by the distilleries, putting the whisky in them for a further period of aging.
Before I introduce you to my notes, I offer you some information about the wine itself. I admit that I’m not very adept at this matter and most probably will miss not a few useful things, or I won’t be precise enough.
Judging from the photo we may think that sherry is a dark grape variety. Actually, it turned out to be white. Except in the region of Jerez, Andalucia, it can be found also in Australia and Chile, which are serious winemakers. There are speculations about its country of origin. Some argue that this are the Canary Islands, from where it was later brought to Germany. Others state that it originates from Andalucia, and recent studies suggest that Ximenez is related to a grape variety, brought in from the Arabs, who ruled over most of Spain until the time of the Reconquista. There is also an opinion that it was presented in Spain by the Dutch.
A special thing about the wines labeled as PX Sherry or Pedro Ximenez is that they are sweet. The grape variety is characterized by a high sugar content, that is used by the technologists in the process. It depends on them whether the wine will be fortified with brandy or not. Traditionally, this and the most of the Sherries are consumed well in England. Together with the Portuguese Madeira wine, this wine is imported into the UK for centuries. Such is my bottle. Since I couldn’t find such a Sherry nowhere in Bulgaria, and I wanted to try it, I asked friends living in England to buy it for me / Dido, Nelly – Cheers!/. It is bottled for distribution in chain stores in England and costs around £8 /0,500ml/. Nothing unattainable, but there is no market for it here.
At first, I started with estimating its sweetness. It is very sweet, indeed. Thick, sweet liquid, which reminds me of treacle/ mastic. Dropped somewhere, it immediately begins to stick. With this amount of sweetness I think it would be perfect for some kind of summer cocktail. It is also very fragrant – honey, maple syrup, the mentioned mastic, pear jam, prune jam, peach juice and caramel. I didn’t find any traces of brandy. Taste – the thick liquid reminds of fruit juice concentrate, coffee, massive sweetness, pears, but maybe slightly baked with butter. Roasted pumpkin, covered with delicious caramelized crust of melted sugar, soaked with vanilla /I think this wine can be perfectly combined with desserts – baked ones, cakes and ice creams/. Finish – relatively short. Expected sweetness and fruits. No traces of bitterness and tannins. Prunes, toasted butter cake and raisins.
I liked it. I love sweet and I drink it. For most people, however, it may seem too sweet. I see benefit of meeting it, because of its relation to the whiskey. If I get the chance I would try other varieties of Pedro Ximenez too.