Purple Palate Blog

Oloroso-Oxidative handled Sherry.

Oloroso is a Sherry style made in the DO (Denominazian of Origin) of Spain, particularly Jerez-Xerxes, and Sanluca de Barrameda.

Oloroso literally means Ordorous or Scented.  Rightly too.

Where Fino style sherries, are biologically aged under a covering of flor (yeasts-mainly Saccharomyces), Oloroso has no biological aging after initial full fermentation, but the flor dies off when fortified to the 17.5% alcohol.

It instead undergoes Oxidative aging in old barrels or Butts, to produce a Dry style, Pale to Medium tawny looking wine that has medium noses of coffee, nuts, almond meal and tobacco.  With a Palate of Dry, very low acid, no tannin, medium plus alcohol for fortified, and medium  intensity flavours of coffee, almond meal, cigar box, slightly herbal, sometimes smokey flavour.

There is no difference in the grape that is used from Fino, both use (generally) Palomino Fino, grown is one or more of the dominant regions near the coast of Spain, around Cadiz in the triangle of Sanluca de Barrameda, Porto de Santa Anna Maria, and Jerez de la Frontera.

Initially when selecting which barrels will become Finos and Olorosos, best and finest barrels will become Fino, while a heavier weighted but still good barrels will be selected to become Oloroso. Usually defined by a vertical line with a small diagonal stroke across middle.

The aging is done by a solera system, where Sherry is fractionally blended into the Solera (last barrel from where the wine is bottled), from younger barrels or Criadera.

The Oloroso Sherry can and is substantially aged longer than Fino (which is generally maximum aged of 8 years).

Oloroso can be aged from 5 to 70 years, possibly more.

Oloroso while is Dry, may have Pedro Ximenez added to make a Cream Sherry, giving a sweeter tawny style wine such as Bristol Cream.

This wine style has fallen from favour in the last 20 years (see Sherry Industry post), but still has relevance and historical significance for the industry as a whole.





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