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The Sherries of Bodegas Delgado Zuleta

Read about Bodegas Delgado Zuleta

Sherries carried by Frontier:
(Downloadable Sell Sheets in parenthesis)

Notes on Sherry

Guide: Guide to the Sherries of Delgado Zuleta
Sherry: Sherry is a wine that has been fortified with grape spirits to increase the alcohol content, thereby gives the sherry longevity to be able to be aged for a very long time. The product changes from ‘wine’ to ‘sherry’ once it has been fortified.
Soil: The type of soil is called ‘Albariza,’ consisting of clay, limestone, sand.
Grapes: Palomino - 95% of total
Balance -- Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez
Soil content: Palomino likes soil with high (up to 85%) limestone content.
Moscatel likes soil with high sand content.
Vineyards: Vineyards are up to 40 years old. When a new vineyard is planted, the vines yield grapes starting the second year, but the grapes are not used until the vines are 5 years old. From 5 to 25 years old, the quality and quantity of the grapes continue to improve. A 25 year old vineyard is considered to be the best vineyard. From 25 to 40 years old, the vines produce increasingly fewer grapes with a slight increase in quality. At 40 years old the vineyard is plowed under and a new vineyard is planted. During the 40 year life of the vineyard, all of the grapes that are harvested are used for sherry, no table selection is necessary.
Casks: All sherries are aged in wooden casks made entirely from American white oak. The oak comes from Missouri and Iowa. Casks are 600 liters in size. Casks are used up to 80 to 100 years, then sold (at a higher price than when they were new) to the scotch producers.
Vintage: Sherries are not allowed to be vintage dated, because all sherries are made through a blending system called ‘Solera System’. Some sherry brands have a year on the bottle. This is typically the year that either the bodega was started or the year that the Solera was started. It is NOT the year that the grapes for that sherry were harvested.
Flor: Flor is the name of the yeast that grows on the surface of Fino and Manzanilla sherries. Flor looks, smells, and tastes like the yeast that grows on molded cheese. Flor tends to act as an insulating blanket to protect the sherry from oxidizing from the air that enters the cask. Flor can only live in sherry where the alcohol content is less than 17%. (The alcohol content for Fino and Manzanilla is 15%).
Solera System: Solera System is a unique fractional blending system or process that is used to produce sherry. In the Solera System, sherry of one type is slowly drawn from the cask and slowly added to another cask, which contains sherry of the same type. In this manner sherry made from grapes grown in a recent vintage (for its freshness) is blended with sherry made from grapes grown in a earlier vintage (for its maturity). This fractional blending ensures consistency of each sherry type and eliminates the effects of each vintage. Only a small portion of each cask is drawn off or added to the next cask during the blending process in order not to disturb the maturation process of the sherry in the cask. The Solera System is done every day, thereby making sherry production very labor intensive. In earlier times, the sherry was drawn from one cask by filling a metal container. Today the sherry is drawn by mechanical pump with hoses from one cask to another cask. Each hose is smaller in diameter than a garden hose, and the pumping is done very slowly.
Production: Guide to the production of sherries