I must declare at the beginning of this post that I am totally berserk for Sherry and have been since a visit to Jerez in 1968. At the Bodega we visited, there were flat circular straw mats with handles at 12 and 6 o’clock laid out in their courtyard covered with sweet desiccating grapes. Having grown up on a wine farm, I was pretty casual about winemaking, but this was something different and exciting. Once the tour was over, we got to the tastings and I was lost forever to the Goddess of Sherry – whoever she may be. Douglas Green has solved my desire for true Sherry by importing three varieties from Jerez form the Bodega that won Best Sherry Maker Recently. Sherry is a geographically designated area, known as Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP), part of the southern province of Cadiz.
The three districts in which the wines are made are Puerto de Santa María, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Jerez de la Frontera. Sherry is blended in the traditional Criadera [nursery] and then the Solera system where ready for bottling sherry is drawn from the bottom row of barrels and new wine is used to fill up the top barrels. One reason you never get a vintage on a Sherry bottle.
The Douglas Green Pale Cream Sherry is made from the Palomino grape, which make up 95% of grapes used for Sherry in Jerez. It has a tendency to oxidise quite quickly, which is not important.
From a traditional Sherry bottle, closed with natural cork. In the glass the wine is a pale gold The aromas are almost like coming home. Floral fragrant, nutty, soft and classical Sherry. The palate is rich, layered and generous with baked apples, and exotic fruits. The oak is in support with its spice and vanilla. Lovely long dry finish.
Do keep this bottle in the fridge, it is best served refreshingly cold. Perfect as an aperitif before a meal, do serve it in a generous glass, not ones like Grandma used when the Vicar came for a late afternoon visit. So delicious with a cream soup, a smoked fish paté. I once saw Sam Clarke of Moro Restaurant cook chilli prawns in olive oil and then deglaze with dry Sherry and shake the pan so that the Sherry emulsified with the Olive Oil to make a delicious creamy sauce.
From a traditional Sherry bottle, closed with natural cork. The wine should be chilled for about 15 minutes in an ice bucket, not too cold. In the glass the wine is a pale amber, gem bright. The aromas are of those delicious unbleached sultanas from the Orange River, with layers of hazelnuts and oak spice. The palate is rich and generous. It has a slight sweetness which is counterbalanced by its fruit and acidity. A characterful glass.
Serve not too chilled. A delicious soft young Gorgonzola cheese, so creamy, spread on a crisp slice of toasted baguette. The perfect partner.
There is a component of Pedro Ximénes [aka PX], blended with the Palomino grapes. PX is usually used for the sweeter wines.
From a traditional Sherry bottle, closed with natural cork. In the glass it is a rich polished mahogany. The aromas are of oak spice, fynbos honey, and smoky soft sundried Elberta peaches. The palate is plush, smooth, round, layered, delivering everything the nose promises. The aftertaste is silken fruit wrapped in supportive oak, and wanes gently.
Serve the Douglas Green Cream Sherry chilled. Excellent with Oriental foods, with a delicious creamy desert like an apricot or apple hazelnut galette. Good also with an assortment of cheeses at the end of a meal. Gruyére, Soft blue or Boerenkaas.
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