Marco de Jerez Tutored Tasting v2.0 2019

Most texts on El Marco de Jerez, aka "the Sherry Triangle" will discuss sherry and its golden age which was built around trade in the 18th century. English merchants, fortification of the wines and the various styles of sherry from Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso etc etc. This is a seminal part of their story and one we will certainly explore on the day. There's still a wealth of excellent drinking to be had within these styles. However, recently there's been a raft of grower-producers who are making a spectrum of table wines that start at the more modern (i.e crisp, clean and aromatic), moving gradually to the nervy and savoury spectrum, up to what is effectively a fino sherry, i.e a dry wine, aged under flor with an alcohol content of 14-15 degrees, but without the fortifying spirit.

This last point is where my interested was piqued. Wine-making was introduced to this area of Spain in 1100 BCE by the Phoenicians. We also know wines under flor have been produced in ancient civilisations of where Iran and Greece are today. These would have been a bit more "coarse" than today's taste. But likely dry, unfortified and similarly holding a higher alcohol content of 15 / 16 degrees. So are these "new" producers in fact giving us a peak further back in time?

Spanish wine expert and wine importer Scott Wasley will lead this tasting. He wants us all to discover the table wines from this area and has been lobbying the Spanish authorities to expand the regions definitions to include the classification of table wines and recognition of the vineyards within the sherry triangle. His point is cogent.

The tasting runs the gamut from the more 'modern' to the 'iconic' styles of this historic region.