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Spain

Spain has many claims to fame when it comes to wine: Europe's highest vineyards, the world's best-selling sparkling wine in Cava and, in Sherry, a venerable fortified wine enjoying a well-earned renaissance.  It is the home of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, world-renowned wine regions, and Spain is planted with a greater area of vines than any other country in the world.  Yet these names and statistics only hint at a viniculture both traditional and dynamic, where native and international grapes are treated in the most modern of ways to capture their essence.  Spanish wine is now achieving variety, excellence and style.

Spain has many claims to fame when it comes to wine: Europe's highest vineyards, the world's best-selling sparkling wine in Cava and, in Sherry, a venerable fortified wine enjoying a well-earned renaissance.  It is the home of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, world-renowned wine regions, and Spain is planted with a greater area of... read more.

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History

The vine arrived in Spain on the ships of the Phoenicians long before it took root in the soil of France.  The Greeks made wine on the Mediterranean coast and the Romans intensified the process to quench the thirst of its legions.  The Moors brought the knowledge of distillation, which aided the export of sherry, but cultivated grapes mainly as food.  Spanish viticulture prospered for a short time in the nineteenth century when the phylloxera plague fanned out across Europe, but the root-eating insect managed to cross the Pyrenees and wrought havoc here as well.  Only recently, with the fall of Franco and entry to the EU, has Spain begun to realise its enormous potential.

The Classification System

Spain, remarkably, has devised a system of classification that is actively seeking to rival the French in complexity.  The Denominación de Origen (DO) is the standard classification of a quality wine, but there are two higher and three lower levels in use.  All have been designed for the benefit of the consumer and once understood are an invaluable guide to the wine.

Climate and Topography

Spain is very varied in its climate and topography, having a great diversity of warm and cool, wet and dry, and high- and low-altitude vineyards.  This allows a vast range of styles to be produced for local and, increasingly, international enjoyment.

The Wines of Today

Outside of Rioja, which has long enjoyed a fine reputation and an export market to match, Spain only recently awoke to its own vast potential.  Realisation began with the fall of Franco's government and the country's integration back into Europe.  Ideas and expertise were encouraged in the 1980s and helped to develop ambition and excellence.  Increased investment and regulation of standards are ensuring that Spain is consistently producing a suite of world class wines.  Even Sherry, so maligned and unfashionable, has recaptured the qualities that once made it so popular.  Spain is a country to explore for the old and the new.

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  1. Castle Cream, Romate

    Castle Cream, Romate 75cl

    Deep, rich and luscious sherry, wood-matured for many years. Dark in colour, its richness and weight make it ideal with dessert or cheese and fruit.

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    £11.94
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    £12.95
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    £9.95
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £10.79
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  2. Harveys Bristol, Cream

    Harveys Bristol, Cream 75cl

    Was £12.95

    Rich and unique with a delicate texture and refreshing finish.

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    £9.60
    £8.00
    Excl. VAT
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  3. Moscatel Soleado, Gutiérrez Colonsia

    Moscatel Soleado, Gutiérrez Colonsia (Half Bottle) 37.5cl

    Made using the method of sun-drying the grapes and full of the deep sweetness this method brings. Lots of typical Muscat flavour such as raisin and orange peel combine with floral notes and nuanced citrus flavour of grapefruit and lime.

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    £15.30
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    £17.50
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    £12.75
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    £14.58
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  4. Antique Pedro Ximenez, Fernando de Castilla

    Antique Pedro Ximenez, Fernando de Castilla 50cl

    Liquorice and raisins dominate the palate of this deliciously luscious and sweet Sherry. Be prepared for intense flavour that is well supported by a plethora of nuanced dried fruit. Try drizzled over ice cream for fantastic results!

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    £26.14
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    £28.94
    each
    £21.78
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £24.12
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  5. Pedro Ximenez Cardinal, Cisneros Romate

    Pedro Ximenez Cardinal, Cisneros Romate 75cl

    The richest and sweetest of the sherry family is well represented here with lots of raisiny sweetness and a hint of spice. There is plenty of depth to the palate with dried fruits abundant and a creamy texture that finishes with hints of coffee.

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    £28.74
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    £29.94
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    £23.95
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    £24.95
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  6. Walnut Brown, Williams and Humbert

    Walnut Brown, Williams and Humbert 75cl

    Full bodied and heart warming with a delicate bouquet of raisins.

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    £12.60
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    £14.50
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    £10.50
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    £12.08
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  7. Antique Amontillado, Fernando de Castilla

    Antique Amontillado, Fernando de Castilla 50cl

    A sherry of incredible complexity and quality, the palate is full of tangy orange peel amongst a plethora of other flavour and a dry finish.

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    £26.86
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    £29.95
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    £22.38
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    £24.96
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  8. Castle Amontillado, Romate

    Castle Amontillado, Romate 75cl

    A full nutty character with a highly individual complexity.

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    £11.94
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    £12.95
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    £9.95
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    £10.79
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  9. Harveys, Amontillado

    Harveys, Amontillado 75cl

    Was £12.95

    A classic medium-dry sherry displaying a distinctive bouquet and a light, elegant nutty taste.

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    £9.60
    £8.00
    Excl. VAT
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  10. A Winter's Tale, Williams and Humbert

    A Winter's Tale, Williams and Humbert 75cl

    A rich and mellow amontillado; a high-quality medium-dry sherry.

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    £13.98
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    £15.95
    each
    £11.65
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £13.29
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  11. Castle Fino, Romate

    Castle Fino, Romate 75cl

    This fino has a light gold colour, bone dry and with a delicate flavour. These sherries are often used as aperitif wines, but they are very versatile. They are very popular in the Spanish tapas bars and go very well with that style of food.

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    £11.94
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    £12.95
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    £9.95
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    £10.79
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  12. Classic Fino, Fernando de Castilla

    Classic Fino, Fernando de Castilla 75cl

    Pale and dry with plenty of character, this works well as an aperitif of with seafood.

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    £11.99
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    £12.95
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    £9.99
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    £10.79
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