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Palo Cortado Sherry

Sherry, with its rich tapestry of styles and flavours, has held an esteemed place in the annals of wine history, particularly from the sun-drenched region of Andalusia in Spain. Among its varied styles, Palo Cortado stands out as a rare and enigmatic treasure, a sherry that defies conventional classification and captures the imagination of connoisseurs worldwide.

The genesis of Palo Cortado lies in its unpredictable nature. Sherry production in general is a dance between human intervention and the wild spontaneity of nature. Most sherries are classified early in their maturation process as either those that will develop a layer of flor (a natural yeast) and become finos or manzanillas, or those that will age oxidatively to become olorosos. However, Palo Cortado begins its life as a fino, developing under flor, but along its ageing journey, the flor unexpectedly dies off or is purposefully eliminated, and the sherry begins to age oxidatively, like an oloroso.

This duality results in a wine that exhibits the aromatic finesse of an amontillado sherry and the structured body of an oloroso. With a nose often reminiscent of hazelnuts, dried fruits, and sometimes a hint of orange peel, it captivates with its complexity. On the palate, it offers the weight and richness of olorosos, often with flavours of dried fruits, wood, tobacco, and spices. Its finish is typically prolonged, leaving a lingering taste that is both elegant and robust.

The precise factors or reasons leading to the creation of Palo Cortado are still debated and not entirely understood. Some believe it's the result of specific grapes or must characteristics, while others feel it's due to particular conditions within individual barrels. What is agreed upon, however, is its rarity. It's said that Palo Cortado chooses itself, making it one of the less common sherry styles available.

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