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Louis Martini Cream Sherry

Sherry from Napa Valley, California
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        Winemaker Notes

        Louis Martini's Cream Sherry is in a class by itself. Produced from palomino grapes, its smooth, agreeable, caramel-like flavor and fine texture win awards in Sherry tastings year after year. Its uniqueness is in its origins. Specially developed by fermenting small batches of wine to the proper sweetness and then stopping fermentation by the addition of brandy, a process called, fortifying, the wines are then aged and blended to make the luscious Cream Sherry. The blending method is similar to the fractional blending method of the Dry Sherries, i.e., small amounts representing many vintages and many batches are blended together. In the case of Martini's Cream sherry, the Solera dates back to 1936. These wines are a labor of love, a special pursuit of Louis P. Martini. They are among the finest of California Sherries.

        Critical Acclaim

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        Louis Martini

        Louis Martini

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        Louis Martini, Napa Valley, California
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        For more than 75 years, the Martini family winemakers have crafted world-class Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the exceptional vineyards of Sonoma and Napa counties. Louis M. Martini embodied a simple, honest premise: The best grapes make the best wines. Today, Michael Martini, third generation winemaker carries on this tradition at the historic winery in Napa Valley with his range of unforgettable Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

        Napa Valley

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        One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

        Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

        Most sherries are dry and meant to pair alongside food but Americans have traditionally focused on the sweet ones. Sherry comes from only one place in the entire world, Andalucía, where the soil and unique seasonal changes give an unsurpassed character to its wines. The many styles change with the process of production, not really the grape, though certain styles are reserved for different grapes. The main grapes are Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Muscat of Alexandria.

        Pedro Ximénez can make some amazing sweet sherries. Cream Sherry is technically the sweetest, darkest style of Sherry, except sometimes Pedro Ximénez can be sweeter. The rest of the styles are dry and dependent on the action of flor, which are benevolent film-forming yeasts that make a floating veil on the surface of the wine and protect it from oxidation.

        Fino, from Jerez, and Manzanilla, from the humid and cool coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, are the lightest styles and are meant to be drunk young.

        Amontillado happens when a Fino’s layer of flor fades and the wine starts to oxidize. Quite simply it is an aged Fino that has a darker color and richer palate.

        When flor yeast dies unexpectedly, the result is Palo Cortado. Palo Cortado Sherries can behave like Amontillado on the palate but often show a greater balance of richness and delicacy.

        Oloroso never develops flor but is oxidized for five to twenty five years and become aromatic and strong like a fine bourbon.

        YNG316126_0 Item# 17039