Reviving the Sherry tradition

In June 2017, H2G Wines took delivery of our first consignment of Sherry – from the highly respected family producers Colosia, owned by Juan Carlos Gutierrez Colosia. So far, we have been delighted with our customers’ reactions to this most traditional drink of Spain’s Jerez, which has links with Ireland going back many centuries, and more recently, there is an Irish grandfather in Juan Carlos family tree.

colosia sherry bottle image

These unassuming bottles modestly hide the work and time that goes into sherry production, and with the Colosia family at the helm, care and attention is given to each stage of the production process.

colosia cellar

The sherries go through two types of maturation. The first is the ‘flor’ phase which is the name of the film of yeasts which cover the wine for a period of up to 5-8  years – each year some young wine is added to ensure that the flor stays alive. These wines (with the flor layer) are  aged in oak barrels using the complex Solera system (multi-layered barrels through which the wine moves from the youngest to the oldest layer). The wines remain amazingly fresh and dry (Fino).

The second and further type of maturation is an oxidative one, resulting in Amontillado, Oloroso and Cream sherries (closer to the wines reminiscent of a Christmas Sherry Trifle or the bottle brought out by the elderly aunt on Christmas Day!). The wines have added alcohol to stop the flor developing (typically to 16-18%), and must be aged for a minimum of 3 years in a complex system called Criaderas y Soleras. Without the flor and with contact with oxygen, the wines develop and darken in colour and the flavours slowly develop. These wines have multi-layered flavours, with even the Cream Sherry retaining a freshness and length which is unusual in this style of sherry. The Colosia Cream Sherry has no added sugar (unlike many cream sherries), rather it gets an addition of Pedro Ximinez (PX) grapes to add natural sweetness.

colosia bodega

These wines come from a long and complex tradition and it is wonderful that they are enjoying a revival. We are delighted to be in partnership with a very old and respected Sherry Producer in the Colosia family, whose location in El Puerto de Santa Maria provides the perfect location for the long and slow maturation of these Spanish treasures.

These sherries are/will be available in independent wine shops and at Honest2Goodness Market (open Saturdays).

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