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Flashcards in Spain/Sherry Deck (66):
1

What is the top red grapes of Spain?

Tempranillo
Garnacha

2

What are the classic top regions of Spain?

Rioja DOCa
Jerez DO (Sherry)

3

What are other important regions in Spain?

Ribera del Duero DOCa
Rias Baixas DO
Priorato DOCa
Cava DO

4

What is the climate in Spain?

Northern Spain: temperate to warm
Southern Spain: hot

5

Where does Spain rank in total wine production?

3rd in the world

6

Related to other countries, how much vineyard acreage does Spain have?

The most in the world

7

What type of wine law system does Spain use?

DO laws (Denominaciones de Origen)
Based on French AOC
Top-quality wines labeled by region
Strict regulations (method/grape varietals)

8

Who regulates the Spanish wine laws?

consejo reguladores
These are regional councils who establish, administrate, and regulates the official winemaking laws and regulation in each particular region.

9

What are the four levels of wine classifications?

vino de mesa "table wine"
vino de la tierra "country wine"
Vino de Calidad con Indicacion Geografica
Denominacion de Origen (DO)
Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOCa)

10

vino de mesa

lax production standards
grapes can be grown anywhere in Spain

11

vino de la tierra "country wine"

restrictions are stricter than table wine
grapes must be grown in one of a handful of large recognized areas

12

Vino de Calidad con Indicacion Geografica

Grapes grown in specific region
Stricter regulations (grape varietals, yields, winemaking practices)

13

Denominacion de Origen (DO)

Select areas
Strict guidelines
Approved grapes
Reduced yields, aging minimums, specific winemaking practices

14

Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOCa)

"qualified designations of origen"
only granted to regions that have had DO status for more than a decade along with a track record of historically top-quality wine

15

vino de pago

DOC and DOCa can earn this designation
means "estate bottled"
Single-estate wines, to-quality reputation

16

Vino tinto

Red wine

17

Vino blanco

White wine

18

Vino rosado

Rose wine

19

Bodega

Winery or wine estate

20

Seco

Dry

21

Dulce

Sweet

22

Joven

A wine released young, usually with no oak aging

23

Crianza

Typically a wine aged for at least two years, several months of which must be in oak barrels; regulations differ in various appellations

24

Reserva

Typically a wine aged for at least three years, one of which must be in oak; regulations differ in various appellations

25

Gran reserva

Quite often a special wine, typically aged for at least five years, two of which must be in oak, regulations differ in various appellations

26

What is significant about Albarino from Spain?

NW Spain - Rias Baixas DO
Light to Medium Bodied Wines
Zesty acidity, bursting with ripe fruit flavors
peaches, citrus, melon, kiwi
Aged in stainless

27

What is significant about Garnacha from Spain?

Famously grown in southern Rhone of France
Originated on Spanish soil
Heat loving varietals ripens fully in Spain's warm climate

Powerful
High Alcohol
Cooked Red Fruits
Spice
Usually blended
Priorato (NE) - single-varietal wines

28

What is significant about Tempranillo from Spain?

Most important
Featured widely in the top red wines from Spain
Rioja DOCa and Ribera del Duera DOCa
Med-Full Bodied wines
Powerful tannin tructure
Ripe cherries, strawberries, spice, clay, leather
Oak aging

29

What are other notable grapes from Spain beside Albarino, Garnacha, and Tempranillo?

Airen (white, table wines)
Monastrell (AKA mourvedre)
Verdejo (white)
Viura (white)

30

What is the difference between French and American Oak?

French:
-come from 1 of 5 specific forests
-flavors: subtle, spicy, textures of satin or silk
American:
-grown in 18 different states (midwest + Oregon)
-flavors: cream soda, vanilla, coconut, stronger flavors and creamier texture

31

When did Rioja winemakers start aging their wine in oak?

Late 1700s mimicking French winemakers in Bordeaux

32

What is the history in Rioja when phylloxera happened?

1850s and 1860s
Rioja remained free of the pest
Sale of wines skyrocketed
1000s of new acres planted
Winemakers from Bordeaux migrated to Rioja
Introduced French methods and philosophies
Phylloxera spread to Rioja around 1900
Two world wars

33

What is the climate, top grape and important facts about Rioja?

Climate: dry and continental
Grape: Tempranillo
Important Info:
-Red wines considered Spain's best
-Most wines are blends but focus on Tempranillo
-Aging is important, extended barrel time common

34

What geographical elements are important in Rioja?

Cantabrian Mountains to the north protect it
Ebro River calley just south
High elevation keeps it dry and continental

35

What are the three zones in Rioja?

Rioja Alta (west)
Rioka Alavesa (north)
Rioja Baja (eastern)

36

What is the top wine at Vega Sicilia

Unico - Spanish for unique
expensive and highly prized

37

Which river flows through RIbera Del Duero DOCa?

Duero River flows through middle of region
Heads west to Portugal
Knwon as Douro Riber in Portugal

38

What are flavor characteristics of wine from Riber Del Duero DOCa?

Red
Leather
Dark Fruit
Powerful Structure

39

What is Tempranillo called in Ribera Del Duero DOCa?

Tinto del Paias

40

What is Spain's most important sparkling wine called?

Cava

41

How is Cava produced?

metodo tradicional (same as Champagne)
Cava is Catalan for "cava"
Reference to the extended aging period for these wines
Very different than Champagne because of soil and grapes used

42

What is unique about Cava from Spain?

Warm conditions
Allows grapes to ripen
Results in more body, less acidity, ripe fruit, citrus flavors

43

Which wines are used in Cava?

Macabeo
Parellada
Xarel-lo
(Chardonnay now allowed)

44

What is Rias Baixas DO known for?

Whites
Albarino
All wines from Rias Baixas that list Albarino on the label means it's 100% Albarino

45

Where is Priorato DOCa and what is it known for?

NE Spain
Red wines from old vine Garanacha/Carinena (Carignan in France) using modern winemaking techniques (aged in small French barrels)

Now grows Syrah, Merlot, Cab Sauv too

46

What is the climate in Jerez?

Located along the Atlantic coastline/southern Spain
Fiercely hot
Tempered by ocean influences

47

What is the top white grape in Jerez?

Palomino

48

What are important Fino styles of Sherry?

Fino Sherry
Manzanilla Sherry
Amontillado Sherry

49

What are important Oloroso-Style Sherries

Oloroso Sherry
Cream Sherry
Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry

50

What is the solera system and why is it important?

Many sherries rely heavily for their flavor prodile ont he solera system

The solera system is a system of fractional blending in which wines from many different vintages are slowly mixed and aged for extended periods of time. IT leads to heavy oxidation and unique caramel and dried fruit rich flavors.

51

What's a theory to why Sherry is fortified?

The fortification of Jerez's wines helped to preserve them and they were commonly stocked aboard ships bound for long voyages.

Christopher Columbus set sail on his legendary voyae to the New World in 1492 from Jerez with fortified wines from the region.

52

What is the soil in Jerez?

Albariza - bright white clay
Has significant amounts of chalk
Ideally suited to the grapes in the region

53

What are the three grapes that can legally be grown in Jerez?

Palomino
Pedro Ximenez
Moscatel

54

Which grape is used for 90% of Jerez's plantings?

Palomino
Produces bland wines
Provides a clean slate
Sherry does not derive it's flavor profile from the grapes used in its production but rather the production itself

55

What is the purpose of Pedro Ximenez grapes?

Used as sweeteners
Ultra ripe grapes are dried to raisin, crushed, pressed to result in an extremely sweet juice

56

What is the process of drying Pedro Ximenez grapes to produce a sweet juice called?

Vino Dulce

57

What is a solera?

An aging system used with sherry.
4-14 American Barrels called butts
Usually stacked
1) 30% of wine on bottom layer is pulled off, bottled, and sold
2) Creates a head space that is topped up from the layer above it.
3) This topping up continues through the solera as wine is removed from each layer and used to fill the head space in the layer below.
4) Wine from the new vintage is placed in the top layer of the solera, called a criadera (nursery), to fill the headspace and begin its long journey of fractional blending through the solera.

Goal?
Consistent flavor profile
Each new vintage becomes absorbed by the solera

58

What are the two main types of Sherry?

Fino and Oloroso

59

How are fino style Sherries produced?

1) After fermentation they are tasted, graded, and classified into fino or oloroso. Usually the pale, aromatic, and lightest wines are fino-style Sherries.
2) Minimally fortified (15%ABV)
3) Placed in used barrels 75% full
4) The hope is that a flor will form
5) Flor = special kind of yeast
6) Result after aging is a light, dry sherry reminiscent of bread dough and toasted nuts

60

What is a flor?

A special type of yeast that forms naturally on fino-style Sherries. It forms a thick blanket which protects the wine from oxidation and slowly consumes the acid in the wine.

61

Describe unique elements of a Fino Sherry

Light, crisp and dry
Some of the least acidic wines (because of flor)
Delicate
Toasted almonds, should be consumed within a day or two after opening or will lose their freshness

62

Describe the unique elements of a Manzanilla Sherry

Produced only in Sanlucar de Barrameda
Palest, lightest, most delicate fino-style sherry
Ocean breeze gives it a salty/briny character
Light and dry
Consume fresh

63

Describe the unique elements of Amontillado Sherry

Receives significantly more aging that fino or manzanilla
Much of it without the presence of flor yeast
Additional aging and exposure to oxidation produces a rich, dry, dark, nutty-flavored style of Sherry

64

Describe Oloroso Sherry

Dark, rich, and full-bodied
Exposed to significant amounts of oxidation
Sweetened by addition of sweeteners
Heavily fortified
18% ABV or more
Stay flavorful for weeks

65

Describe Cream Sherry

First designed for English market
Heavily fortified
Intensely sweetened with concentrated Pedro Ximenez grape juice

66

Describe Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry

Ultrarich, almost black sherries, rich with dried fruit and burnt sugar characteristics
These sherries are produced from Pedro Ximenez