Exceptional Harvest 2017 Ximenez-Spinola

Exceptional Harvest 2017 Ximenez-Spinola image

One of my favourite new discoveries from Spain...does as it says on the label:  'original intense white from Pedro Ximenez'.

What is it?  Basically an off-dry white table wine made from super-ripe grapes (alc just 12.5%).

Origin:  In Jerez, Andalusia...but not fortified.

How is it made?  PX grapes are left on the vine for an extra 21 days.  After fermentation, aged for 4 months on its lees (dead yeasts) in old American oak barrels with 'soft battonage' (stirring of the lees).

Who makes it?  Made by the fantastically original Ximenez-Spinola who were founded in 1729!  Their vineyards are on chalky soils of Las Tablas near the mouth of Guadalquivir river - near Jerez de la Frontera and Sanlucar de Barrameda.   Ximenez-Spinola only make wines from PX grapes - which is now very unusual in Jerez.  Today most PX grapes are grown in warmer drier Montilla-Moriles region, 150km from Jerez, just south of Cordoba.

Taste: Golden colour, figgy raisiny nose, brioche, nuts & honey, fresh acidity beautifully balanced with natural sweetness.

Serving suggestion: Try with slow roast pork or even a triple-cream Brillat Savarin cheese for a bit of cross-culture.

Where to find it: Available from Alliance Wine, Noble Green Wines, Luvians Bottle Shop, The Whisky Exchange & others.

Price: £20-£25

Alcohol: 12.5%