Gonzalez Byass La Concha 75cl 17% ABV
The vineyards in Jerez are unique to the area. The soil in Jerez is majority Albariza, a white soil which contains up to 60% chalk and therefore has a large capacity for maintaining moisture, very important given the long, hot and dry summers as irrigation is prohibited. The area has a unique microclimate influenced by the surrounding Atlantic ocean and rivers Guadalquivir and Guadalete. The prevailing winds are moist and warm, and now and again dry and hot levante winds from north Africa. Temperatures are warm with 70% humidity and annual rainfall is 600 litres/m2. The harvest in Jerez begins mid August and generally lasts for 3 weeks maximum. The Pedro Ximenez grape, although a white grape, is treated slightly differently as it is destined for sweet wines. The grapes are collected from the vine slightly later and they are then sun dried in a process called ‘soleo’ when the grapes bunches are laid out on esparto mats in the vineyard for up to two weeks. During this time the grape loses about 40% of its volume due to evaporation of water which causes concentration of sugars.
The Palomino must destined for La Concha comes from the second press from pneumatic Wilmes presses. Following fermentation to between 11% and 12% alcohol the wine is fortified to 15.5% alcohol and then enters the Elegante Medium solera. Due to the 15.5% alcohol and the unique temperature and humdity in the Jerez cellars a layer of yeast known as the ‘flor’ will form on the surface of the wine. In order for this flor to form properly an empty space of 100 litres is left in the cask. After 3 years ageing under flor alcohol is added up to 17% killing the flor and allowing the wine to oxidise. At this time 2% Pedro Ximenez is added giving this Medium sherry its sweet sensation.
La Concha shows a light mahogany colour with a full luscious taste. Clean and full aroma on the nose. On the palate you can appreciate a velvety body and well rounded flavour.
This wine should be served slightly chilled in a small wine glass. Ideal as an aperitif or with cheese however also as a dessert wine with vanilla ice cream, fruit salad and apple pie.