Massive and sinfully sweet with a warm, heady boquet and jammy, opulent flavours of treacle, prune, melted chocolate, plum and raisin cake. A wine you'll still be tasting the next day!
Serve lightly chilled (or mixed with ice if you prefer) at the end of the meal or alongside nuts, blue cheese, ice cream or pastries.
This palatial PX is made naturally under the hot Andalusian sun by drying ripe grapes on mats until they become raisins. When these desiccated berries are pressed, they give up a small volume of rich must (juice), to which neutral grape spirit is added to prevent fermentation and loss of sweetness. The super-sweet (405g sugar per litre), alcoholic (16% ABV) nectar is aged then in a solera (Sherry-style system of interlinked barrels) that was started in 1927.
Bodegas Alvear dates from the 1600s and has remained in the same family during all that time. Of the current generation, 50 or so part-own the business, with some of these participating in the day-to-day running of the winery.
Montilla-Moriles, 100km north of Malaga, is Andalucia's most northerly wine region. Even though it lies far from Jerez/Sherry, it shares the same blinding-white Albariza terroir. Montilla-Moriles is known for its rich dessert wines, which are categorized similarly to those of Sherry. Fortification isn't automatic in the former though, with grapes achieving unbelievable ripeness in what is Iberia's hottest part. The wines naturally ferment to 14-16% alcohol, leaving lots of residual sugar.