Alvear Pedro Ximenez Solera 1927 (375ML half-bottle)
#5 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 of 2017
The vineyards, located at an elevation of 1,050 feet, are comprised of the famous chalky soil called Albariza and the 40-year-old vines produce extremely low yields. The grapes were hand-harvested at the peak of maturity and dried on mats in the sun. This is one of the oldest wines in the cellar since the Solera was started at the beginning of the last century.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A raisiny, plum pudding-like nose with a wealth of brown-tea aromas. The palate has a sweet, rich and fleshy sultana and raisin finish. Drink now.
Montilla-Moriles is a DO wine zone in Andalucia, in southern Spain, just south of Córdoba city but inland from the coast. Historically the wines of Montilla-Moriles made their way into the sherries made in Jerez. But once it was awarded DO status in 1945, Montilla-Moriles began to establish its own identity. The chalky and sandy soils combined with extremely hot temperatures are best to produce Pedro Ximénez, which accounts for nearly three quarters of the region’s production, some of which is still legally sold to Jerez and Málaga producers. The unique conditions of Montilla-Moriles allow for Pedro Ximénez to be bottled also in the Vinos Dulces Naturales (naturally sweet) style, a non-fortified style for which the region is recognized.
Muscat and Lairén are also produced for blending. Palomino is not suited to the extreme conditions of the area.
The basic types of Montilla-Moriles DO wines include young fruity wines, aged (crianza) wines, and generosos, which are aged in a solera system similar to those in Jerez. The resulting styles of generosos, simply known as, Montilla, while similar to sherry, perhaps display a bit less finesse given they are aged away from the cooling effects of the Atlantic.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.