Fortified Wines of the World


Many famous wines around the world undergo fortification. These include Sherry, Port, Madeira and Marsala.
Michelle Ames
Flashcards by Michelle Ames, updated more than 1 year ago
Michelle Ames
Created by Michelle Ames about 4 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
Sherry is made in the area surrounding the city of _______. Jerez, Spain.
Which towns form the Sherry Triangle? Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Maria.
What is the climate in Andalusia? Hot and dry, although Jerez is slightly cooler due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Vineyards closest to the water are markedly cooler than those slightly more inland.
Which two white grape varieties are primarily used in Sherry production? Palomino and Pedro Ximenez (PX).
What other grape variety may be added as a sweetener or used to impart a fruity characteristic to younger Sherries? Moscatel (Muscat of Alexandria).
What are albariza, barro, and arena? Types of soil found in the Jerez region. Palomino prefers albariza (limestone-rich chalk, clay and sand), while PX grows well on barro (clay with some chalk and sand). Arena is predominantly sandy which Moscatel thrives on.
Fino sherries go through what type of ageing, and how does it affect the final wine? Biological ageing under flor yeast. Results in a pale, light wine lower in alcohol and acids, and much higher in acetaldehyde.
What percentage of alcohol does flor thrive in? 15-15.5%.
What is the longest period of time that flor can be maintained? 6-7 years, although most commercial finos are only aged for 2 years (the minimum amount of time required by law).
What causes the 'nutty' or 'bruised apple' aroma associated with fino? When all sugar is consumed, the yeast cells metabolise oxygen from the air and produce chemicals such as acetaldehyde that do not convert to acetic acid under these conditions.
Oloroso sherries are fortified to what percentage of alcohol and why? 17-18% to prevent the development of flor. The base wines used for oloroso are generally not considered to have the quality or delicacy to be made into fino.
Olorosos go through what type of ageing, and how does it affect the final wine? Oxidative ageing in solera. Results in dark, fuller, flavourful wine dominated by oxidative (rancio) and caramelised aromas. Higher in alcohol and acid compared to fino.
Why can alcoholic strength rise to as high as 24% in oloroso sherries? Water evaporates during oxidative ageing.
What is the maximum volume removed from the solera each year? No more than 1/3.
What is soleo? The straw mat method of drying PX and Moscatel grapes in the hot sun to produce sweet Sherry.
In the early 2000s, two new Sherry designations were introduced to recognise exceptionally old and rare oxidated wines. What are they? Vinos con indicacion de edad: 12-15 years. Vinos de vejez calificada has two levels... Vinum optimum signatum (VOS): Min 20 years of solera ageing. Vinum optimum rare signatum (VORS): Min 30 years of solera ageing.
Describe an en rama Sherry. A natural style of Sherry that is unfiltered and unfined, or just minimally filtered.
True or False: Due to the solera method, it is impossible to have a vintage Sherry. False. Although now rare, single vintage (añada) Sherry bottlings were a regional tradition. They are quite expensive due to scarcity and the enhanced oxidation and evaporation experienced by these wines.
Spain also produces a fortified wine known as Malaga. What grape varieties is it made from? Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel. Malaga is a sweet dessert wine which almost disappeared in the 20th century, but is starting to see a resurgence.
In what country is Marsala produced? Italy.
What are the three main grape varieties used in Marsala? Grillo, Catarratto, Inzolia, and others.
What are the three types of Marsala? Oro (golden), ambra (amber), and rubino (ruby). Each style can range in sweetness.
What is the range of residual sugar allowed in the different styles of Marsala? Secco: Maximum 4% RS. Semisecco: 4% to 10% RS. Dolce: More than 10% RS.
Define the minimum length of time required for ageing for the five main Marsala labels. Marsala Fine: 1 year. Marsala Superiore: 2 years. Marsala Superiore Riserva: 4 years. Marsala Vergine: 5 years. Marsala Solera: 5 years.
What is the name of the most highly esteemed Marasla? Vergine Stravecchio Riserva, a dry version that requires a minimum of 10 years ageing in cask.
What is the 'cadastro' in the Douro Valley? A unique a complex vineyard ranking system that assesses 12 factors including altitude, yield, and locality. Points are added or subtracted to arrive at a total score. Based on this mark, vineyards are classified from A (high) to F (low).
What determines a grower's beneficio authorisation in Douro? Their cadastro ranking, along with the annual harvest conditions. The beneficio is the maximum amount of wine that may be fortified that year.
What are lagares? Open granite or concrete troughs used in Port production for foot-crushing grapes.
What is the name for the barrels that were traditionally sent down river filled with Port to the city of Oporto on barcos rabelos? Pipes.
Beginning in the late 1800s, the centre of the Port trade shifted to what town? Vila Nova de Gaia.
Why wasn't Port stored and aged in the Douro Valley? The high humidity and cooler temperatures of the coastal towns were much better for ageing Port with minimal evaporation or maderization. However, more and more quintas now do their own blending and ageing in temp-controlled facilities in the Douro.
What is the difference in ageing time between a Ruby and Reserve Port? Ruby Port is aged in large oak casks for about two years before being bottled and ready to drink. Reserve Port is bottled after 4-6 years' ageing in oak vats.
What other type of ruby Port is intended to be consumed upon release? Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV). Aged similarly to reserve Ports, but from a single year rather than a blend of premium rubies.
What gives Tawny Port its colour? Oxidisation after significant time ageing in oak. This can range from just a few years to 30+ years.
What is the minimum amount of time a wine must spend in oak to be labelled as Reserve Tawny Port? Seven years.
What is the rarest and most expensive style of Port? Vintage. A vintage year is declared at the discretion of the producer and must be approved by the IVDP. Only the best years are declared and each vintage Port is a unique reflection of the growing conditions that year. Note that not all producers uniformly declare the same vintages.
Vintage Port is aged in cask, but must be bottled by __________. July 30 of the third year after harvest. Vintage Ports can be cellared and age in bottle for decades before release or consumption.
What is one option a producer has for making a quality Port in a year that is not declared as a vintage? Releasing a Single Quinta Vintage Port. Grapes come from a single estate or a specific vineyard that had an excellent harvest.
What is a very rare type of tawny Port? Colheita. A single-vintage tawny that must be aged for a minimum of seven years in cask, although in practice it usually spends much longer in wood. Some may not even be bottled until there is a consumer demand.
What are the two predominant grape varieties used for white Port production? Malvasia Fina and Gouveio. White Port can be made in both off-dry and sweet styles.
Which producer introduced rose Port to the market in 2008? Croft.
Madeira DOC covers which two islands? Madeira and Porto Santo.
What is the climate of Maderia? Mild Subtropical. There is little annual temperature variation.
Summers in Maderia can see very little rainfall. How do vines get enough water? Vineyards are irrigated though a system of canals called levadas. This practice dates back to the 15th century.
What are the four 'noble' grape varieties of Maderia? Sercial and Verdelho for dry Maderia. Boal and Malvasia (Malmsey) for sweet. These varieties are typically planted at different elevations on the island.
What is the most widely planted grape variety on Maderia? Tinta Negra Mole. It is found in both dry and sweet styles of Madeira.
When is Madeira fortified? This is dependant on style. Dry Madeira is fortified after fermentation, while sweet Madeira must be fortified during to halt fermentation.
What is maderization? The 'cooking' process fortified Madeira wines go through that produces their colour and nutty, caramelised flavours. This traditionally happened in the cargo holds of ships en route to the Far East or the Americas.
What are the two main ways of recreating the hot ocean voyages Madeira was originally produced under? Canterio Method: Casks in rafters for 3-20+ years. Estufagem Method: Concrete or stainless vats heated by coils (cuba de calor) or vats heated within a steamed room (armazem de calor). Both released a min of 2 years after harvest.
Classic styles of Madeira were named after the grape variety used. Why is that no longer the case? When Portugal joined the EU it had to adopt its rules for labelling. That meant that varietal terms could only be used on wines that included a minimum of 85% of that grape, which is not often the case for Madeira.
Setubal DOC in Portugal makes what kind of wine? Vins doux naturels from Muscat of Alexandria. It is labelled as Moscatel de Setubal.
Commandaria is a dessert wine from Cyprus with ancestry dating back four millennia. What two grape varieties is it made from? A blend of Mavro (red) and Xynisteri (white). The grapes are sundried after harvest, and the wine may or may not be fortified.
What traditional ageing system similar to solera was, and sometimes still is, used to produce Commandaria? The mana system. Instead of barrels, earthenware jars are used.
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