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WSET L3 - Sherry
Terms in this set (32)
Where can Sherry be made
Sanlúcar de Barrameda
El Puerto de Santa María
Hot, sunny mediterranean, with higher annual rainfall than other Spanish regions, but mostly outside of growing season.
Cool humid westerly wind cooling the coastal regions for Sherry production.
Hot drying wind from the East that causes temperatures to soar and add stress to vines
soil in Jerez with heavy chalk content. Good drainage but more importantly it is deep and retains enough water to sustain vines through growing season. Forms a hard crust on top during growing season which reduces evaporation and holds water in. After harvest, rectangular pits dug between rows to trap water and reduce run-off.
3 grapes permitted in Sherry
Pedro Ximénez (PX)
Muscat of Alexandria
Vast majority. Low acid, no varietal aromas.
Little varietal character. Thin skin good for sun-drying for sweet sherries. Oddly, most of it comes from Montilla-Moriles, but is allowed in Sherry production.
Most PX comes from here. Allowed in Sherry production despite not being in the 3 normal places allowed.
Muscat of Alexandria
Very small amounts, only used for sweet wines.
Fermentation temp for dry sherries
20-25C. Higher than normal for white wine, but not trying to protect the varietal characters so is best.
Dry Sherry base wine abv
Ideal strength for development of flor
Period after base wine is fortified using a neutral 96%abv spirit. Wines are set aside for a few months and followed to see if the flor develops correctly. If wines fail to make the grade they are entered into the solders system or rejected altogether.
Fortification abv for oxidative wines
17%. Sobretabla less important as no need for a flor.
Winery handling for sweet styles
Grapes picked and left to sun-dry to concentrate sugar. Once must weight is where they want it, grapes are pressed and ferment started. Sweetness so high that yeast struggles, so don't manage more than a few degrees of abv. Fortified to 17%.
600L barrels, usually older oak. Always kept 5/6 full
Conditions for flor growth
Abv of 15.5% and under. Cool to moderate temps and high humidity. Average age is rarely above 3-4 years because nutrients drop and flor can't feed. By 7 yrs, flor can't grow.
Aged biologically then a period of oxidative aging. Then fortified to 17% abv to kill flor and put into Amontillado solera system
Fino and Manzanilla
Biological aging only. Pale lemon, citrus, almonds, herbs. Do not Improve in bottle - consume as fresh as possible.
Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Wines matured in Sanlucar de barrameda. Separate DO to Jerez. Same as Fino but conditions cooler and flor thicker so intensely tangy.
Fino style Sherry from Manzanilla
Label term used to indicate Minimal fining or filtering.
Oxidative aging. Brown, full bodied, toffee, leather, spice, walnut.
Rare. Aroma of Amontillado, but body as richness of Oloroso. Hard to tell from the others but are almost always very high quality.
Pedro Ximénez (PX)
Deep brown, lusciously sweet. 500g/L.?dried fruit, coffee, liquorice
Similar to PX but retain varietal citrus peel character.
Pale Cream Sherry
Some biological ageing prior to sweetening with RCGM. Similar to fino but no flor character.
Medium and Cream
From inexpensive to super premium. Sweetened with PX. Best balance toffee, leather, walnut of dry wine switch dried fruit of sweet wine.
Must show biological and oxidative characteristics.
Oxidative character only.
age indicates sherries
Only Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado and PX can qualify.
1. VORS - vinum Optimum Rare Signatum - very old rare Sherry. Min. Average age 30 yrs. must be tested
2. VOS - vinum optimum signatum/ very old Sherry. Min. Average age 20 yrs. must be tested. Thanks
3. 15 yrs - apply to whole solera system, more flexible than others.
4. 12 yrs - apply to whole solera system, more flexible than others.
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