Sherry Is Not Only For Xmas – Bodegas Tradicion Collector Selection

Sherry is sweet dark sticky liquid left over from last Xmas?  Nothing can be further from the truth.

Sherry is delicious versatile wine from bone dry to luscious sweet.  It’d only be a pity (“tragic” to me, if I hadn’t had explored such crazy stuff and missing the world of it in life)  if we kept thinking it’s some out-dated drinks only for Xmas.  In fact, they are just amazing!

Some people told me I was being a little crazy to turn down the very kind invitation to the Commanderie du Bontemps dinner for hosting a sherry dinner.

As much as I adore 1990 Chateau Lafite, some bordeaux good buddies and winemakers whom I may had missed at dinner, to me,  it’d have been more insane if I’d not shared my love for Sherry through hosting a good collectors’ lineup for Bodegas Tradicion with Lorenzo García-Iglesias Soto freshly landed in HK from Jerez last Tuesday.tableFor a quick peek, here is our “Bodega Tradicion Collector Selections Dinner” – Our once a lifetime Tradition line up: ✨

* Fino 12years
a fairly new expression released in 2013. Bottled en rama around 12 years of age.  Who said fino has to be fresh!

* Palo Cortado VORS 40years
a big wow, same feeling that I had when I was at Tradition.  It pairs fantastically with Escargot with Pastis & Tomato Sauce, explosive flavors, salty, hazelnut, dried apricot, almond with caramel at the same time, long finish

* Amontillado VORS 45years

* Oloroso Tradicion VORS 45 years
A 45 year old Oloroso composed from different soleras dating back to the 18th Century,  orange peel, nuts, chocolate – round and pure

* Amontillado Viejisimo 80+years
80 years is only an average time the wine had spend in the solera system, when I drink this wine, I can’t help thinking of the 100 years ago when they start harvesting and making the wine in my hand.  It’s a concentrated wine full of savory flavors, something crazy that you will only know it if you try it

* Cream VOS 25 years
It is basically a mix of 70% Oloroso VORS with 30% of younger P.X.

* PX VOS 25years
sweet and luscious yet very balanced by great acidity, perfect on its own or like the spanish suggested, on a vanilla ice-cream.  (yet, I had it with artichoke at Tabanco El Pasaie in Jerez, it was delicious)

* PX VORS 45years limited edition
less sweet than PX VOS with great acidity and freshness.   I prefer this to drink on its own.

* Brandy solera gran reserva 25years

Lorenzo with wine for the night

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For further read, if you are interested:

Sherry is a fortified wine, produced in Spain’s sherry triangle. Located in the province of Andalucia, this triangle consists of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María. The soil in this region is chalky, limestone based, and provides the perfect conditions for growing the Palomino grape, Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel, the three grapes used for making sherry wine.

There are quite a few kinds of sherry and that makes my head ache at the beginning.  However, in terms of style, we can just say there are 2 major style:  biologically aged (under a layer of flor yeast)– Fino and Manzanilla and oxidatively aged (in the absence of flor) – Oloroso. Two intermediate styles exist – Amontillado and Palo Cortado, which start biologically but gradually loose their layer of flor and continue their maturation in the oxidative way. All of these wines are bone dry, while there are also two types of naturally sweet wines (Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel) as well as a category of artificially sweetened wines (called Cream sherry or Dulce).

Since spending my last September in Jerez for the Vendemia, the culture, music, people and my time at the bodegas made me fall in love with this amazingly delicious wine.  It is a new flavor sensations.

vineyard between and Sanlúcar planted with Palomino grapes 
standing on the chalky Albariza soil (alba means white) which is best for growing Palomino grapes.  Contain mostly chalk with mix of limestone, clay and sand.  It has similar characteristics to the soil found in Chablis and Champagne  
Palomino grape ready for harvest

Bodegas Tradition is a boutique bodega which only bottle consistently genre-defining, very fully aged wines capable of pleasurably filling the senses. All their wine  are bottled en rama, unchill, unfiltered, nor cold stabilized, with no additives and with only the sulfites used long ago for fermentation.

Some may find the taste of sherry not quite pleasant, perhaps due to the fact that we are too used to the typical red and white wine we’ve been drinking, however,  I do believe, the more you try enough of the good stuff (my other favorite ones: Bodegas Emilo Hidalgo, Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla, Bodegas El Mastro Sierra, Bodegas Barbadilo etc) and especially if you happened to stop by Jerez, you’d fall in love with these very special wine like I do and they will be close to your heart ever since ….. Be careful!

One of the most exciting things with wine is to keep along our adventure with wine, keep tasting new things, so don’t ever pass up these wine if you get the chance to taste it.   If you would like to taste it in HK, surely can pm me, or check www.vino-share.com !

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My tasting at Tradicion having one of 2500 bottles of this 30+years Palo Cortado full of elegance and complexity 

tradicion.jpg

we had more than what it shows here, check out the lineup above.

Winery info :

Bodegas Tradición is a newer winery located in Jerez, but it holds the honor of being the successor of the oldest winery in the Jerez production area. The bodega was founded in 1998 by Mr. Joaquín Rivero, who decided to give continuity to the family tradition in the sherry industry.

The origins of Bodegas Tradicion are based on “Bodega CZ, J.M. Rivero”, the oldest of the sherry houses known, with business dated back in 1650. J.M. Rivero was, by appointment, supplier of the Royal Houses of Spain and Portugal and the winery obtained many different international rewards.

The man who started the business was Mr. Diego Cabeza de Aranda y Zarco, who run the winery until Mr. Francisco Antonio de la Tixera joined him as a partner. The brand name CZ corresponds to the initials of the last names of the founder, and as the daughter of Mr. De la Tixera married Mr. Joaquín María Rivero y González, the winery was renamed as Bodegas J.M. Rivero keeping CZ as the main brand name.

The winery became a very successful business during the 19th century, and in 1855 the property had 3.188 wine casks and worldwide known brands, such as Solera Cabeza 1770, Tixera 1783, Trafalgar 1805, Viejo Oloroso C.Z, Pedro Ximénez del Carnero, San Enrique, Moscatel Menudo P.A.R., Pajarete Menchaca , Fino Viña del Barco, Fino Rivero, Mantecoso, Amontillado el Gallo, Brandy el Gallo, Brandy Montesión and Brandy Trafalgar.

Bodegas J.M. Rivero were sold in 1991 to another wine merchant, and immediately after Mr. Joaquín Rivero started planning the reinstatement of the family tradition through a new wine house and a different strategy: “The name Tradicion responds to a double requirement: continuance to the family wine business and a comeback of the traditional styles and the processes in the making of Jerez wines”.

With this aim an old sherry warehouse was acquired and after restoration of the warehouse the first casks arrived to Bodegas Tradición. Pursuing of the best soleras at the time was the main objective of the company, as well as sourcing old and first-rate American oak casks to keep the wines which were selected by the team of experts who were hired to work in Bodegas Tradicion.

Mr. Jose Ignacio Domecq Fernández de Bobadilla, former oenologist from Domecq, and son of one of the most famous oenologists from the golden age of sherry, Mr. José Ignacio Domecq González -“The Nose”- was hired to select the wines to be purchased and to create the Tradicion Styles. Along to Mr. Domecq, Mr. José Blandino, our foreman, with almost 50 years of experience in Domecq was hired as well, in order to select the casks and to make all the necessary arrangements in the house to set up the soleras.

In 2007 a new warehouse was acquired next to the original ones, named Rincón Malillo, which will be housing our newest release, Fino Tradicion, a new solera which is being developed and will hold approximately 400 casks.

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