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Guest Wine Review – Perez Barquero Gran Barquero Pedro Ximénez

It is fair to say that social media has been very instrumental in the journey we have been on with Montilla-Moriles.

We have made friends for life and have experienced several things that will live long in our memories.

Having connected with our guest reviewer, Tim Needham through #ukwinehour on Twitter, and realising his passion for PX style sweet wines we knew we had connected with a like minded spirit.

So after a few weeks of several messages backwards and forward and a few samples exchanged, we knew Tim was definitely receptive to #theotherplace aka Montilla-Morilles.

His offer to review a wine, one we haven’t tried, for the website was too good to pass up so here it is: –

You’ve probably never heard of Montilla-Moriles.

If you have, you may not know that it produces the grapes used to make Pedro Ximénez wines in the Sherry D.O. a 100 miles or so to the south west.

Montilla-Moriles is a Denominación de Origen (D.O) in the area south of the city of  Cordoba in the Andalucia region, southern Spain.

Pedro Ximénez grapes are by far the most common grown in the area producing wines including Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso as well as PX.
I discovered this wine at Waitrose near my home, looked at it a few times then eventually decided to take the plunge and buy a bottle.
At this stage, I will disclose that I am a PX fanatic but this is my first Montilla-Moriles varient so I will try to take you through the comparison with Pedro Ximenez from the Sherry D.O.
Gran Barquero Pedro Ximénez is made by Perez Barquero S.A. in Montilla using a criadera and solera aging system similar to those used in the making of Sherry. 

It is an oxidative aged wine spending 4 to 6 years in the aforementioned criadera and solera system and has an ABV of 15%.

Photo courtesy of eladerezo.com - All rights reserved

Photo courtesy of eladerezo.com

So what does it smell and taste like?
It has a rich burnt toffee nose and the sweetness is quite clear as you smell it. Its colour is very dark, almost inky and it has a slightly oily, viscous appearance.
So far, so similar to PX Sherry.
But when you taste it, things become clearer. It’s not as viscous as a Jerez PX. Initially on the palate you get licorice, then burnt toffee and finally raisins – much of which you would expect.

On the finish you get the alcohol but it is subtle and you are left wanting the next sip.
Yes, this is a sipper, but you would be surprised at how quickly the bottle level goes down!

Tim Needham is an award winning television and radio journalist who has worked for international broadcasters including the BBC, ITN and Sky News. His love of PX stems from a fascination with the structure and taste of wines at the sweeter end of the spectrum, many of which are acknowledged by their producers to be some of their finest products.

We would like to thank Tim for taking time to review this wine for us.

You can follow him on twitter here.

This wine is available online in the UK from Waitrose for the fantastic price of £9.99 for a 50cl bottle.

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