Brandy de Jerez

Jerez is located in South West Spain. Only brandy that is controlled and defined by Spanish law. Unique aspects of this brandy are the use of high and low strength distillates and the solera style of ageing. 

Raw Materials 

  • Grapes 

  • 95% Arien > grape is lower in acid, higher alcohol than Ugni Blanc 

  • grown inland region of La Mancha 

  • distillation can also take place in La Mancha 

Distillation 

  • majority in La Mancha 

  • mix of pot and column stills

  • 50% of the blend must have been distilled to a strength of 86% or less

  • use of high and low distillates gives blenders more options 

3 distillates are produced

Holandes 

  • pot stills only

  • max 70%abv

  • key to intensity of Brandy lies in the % of holandes

  • Gran Reserve style - 100% holandes 

Aguardientes

  • column and pot stills 

  • 70-86%abv

Destilados 

  • pot and column stills 

  • min 86%abv 

Maturation 

  • in Jerez only

  • solera system, 1000L barrels or less

  • ex-sherry barrels 

Solera system

  • blending takes place during maturation

  • system is made up of groups of barrels 

  • each barel in a group "criadera" holds brandy from an identical average age

  • the last criadera is the solera

  • spirit is drawn from the each barrel in the solera, topped up with spirirt from the oldest cridera.

  • the process of topping up continues through the criadera, finishing with new make spirit

  • produces identical brandy every time

  • quality of brandy must remain consistent 

  • ex-Oloroso > plum, walnut and fig

  • ex-PX > rasin

  • ex-fino > grilled nuts 

Finishing

  • caramel for colour adjustment and sweetness 

Styles 

  • Solera > min 6m

  • Solera Reserva > min 1yo

  • Solera Gran Reserva > min 3yo

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