Ever at the forefront of global trends, Douglas Green has expanded its stable of quality wines and spirits in South Africa, to introduce its first authentic Spanish Sherry range. The range comprises of a Pale Cream, Medium Dry and Cream Sherry, each produced and bottled in Spain and fully imported for sale in the country under the Douglas Green brand.
This move by Douglas Green was born in the wake of South Africa’s trade agreement with the European Union of October 1999 that came into force in May 2004. It dictates that within 12 years from this date, the term “Sherry” can only be used for authentic Sherries from Spain’s Sherry Triangle — the only wine growing area in the world permitted to label its products as Sherry.
On the back of the current global Sherry revival, this trio of top quality Sherries has been introduced now by South Africa’s largest independent wine and spirit producer and distributor, to meet the growing demand amongst local Sherry drinkers for this delicious fortified wine. The Sherries were sourced from the bodegas (wine cellars) of Caballero in Spain’s foremost Sherry districts, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Puerto de Santa Maria and Jerez de la Frontera.
Caballero, a world-renowned Sherry producer, is known for setting the benchmark of quality for Sherries around the world, and counts being named 2011 Best Spanish Wine Producer and 2014 Best Sherry Producer in the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) among its impressive list of accolades.
Retiring DGB Marketing Director Jacques Roux is a Sherry devotee himself and was instrumental in bringing this authentic Sherry range to the Douglas Green stable. “In recent years, Sherry has made a magnificent comeback, thanks to a wave of high-end releases that have reinvigorated interest in the category among foodies and fine wine drinkers,” he says. “We have been watching this with interest, and the upshot of it is that we are now seeing an increasing resurgence of the various styles of Sherry on wine lists and in craft cocktails. We knew the timing was right to introduce a superior range of Sherries into the South African market.”
Douglas Green Wines is also known for providing great value, and Roux and his team have painstakingly assembled a trio of outstanding Sherries that do just that. “When we sourced the Sherries from Caballero, we carefully selected those styles that met the rigorous standards of the world’s best Sherry producers, while striking the sought-after balance between exceptional quality and an affordable price point,” he explains.
The Douglas Green Sherries are aged in wood, and are pure non-vintage Sherries made in the traditional criadera method where flor yeast is allowed to slowly permeate the young wine before blending in the solera method. (Flor is the veil or thin layer of indigenous yeast cells that forms on top of Sherry to protect it from air contact). With young and mature wines of a uniform quality blended in the same style, for slow and consistent maturation, the benefit of the solera method is that it delivers a consistent quality each and every time.
The story behind the Douglas Green Sherry range reads like an adventure novel. It is inspired by real life hero Douglas Green Snr. who started the business back in 1942. Determined to strike a balance between exceptional quality and an affordable price point, he travelled the length and breadth of the Cape Winelands, seeking out parcels of perfect grapes that would deliver the style of wine that he knew his clients were seeking. Over 70 years later, his vision lives on under the stewardship of his son Douglas Jnr., and it is in this spirit that the team made their way to the home of Sherry in Spain — to carefully select Sherries from the magical cellars of Caballero.
Sherry connoisseurs will be pleased to know that the Douglas Green Sherry range is already available at selected outlets throughout South Africa.
According to the tastemakers — the sommeliers who sell Sherry daily — young wine enthusiasts are rapidly discovering Sherry’s myriad styles and flavours, especially when the wines are made in tiny batches by bodegas. No doubt then that the three complex traditional beauties introduced by Douglas Green will be inspiring more than a few wine lovers and epicurean explorers to convert to this most versatile of fortified table wines.
Pale Cream Sherry
This elegant and bright Sherry with a fruity, sweet finish and delicate, pale straw colour, exudes thatchy notes underpinned by floral and yellow fruit aromas. On the palate, expect honeyed straw and nutty flavours with waxy undertones and a citrus edge, reminiscent of lime and grapefruit. Made from Palomino grapes, it starts life as Fino, aged under flor. Grape must is added to the Fino Sherry, hence the pleasing sweetness. The finish is fruity sweet and the palate cleans up nicely with a pleasing dryness that invites another sip. It is an ideal companion for delicate soups, pâté and seafood dishes, as well as fruit-based starter salads such as pear and melon, fresh fruit salad desserts, and also with milder blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola dolce, or white Stilton.
Serve it chilled at 6°C in a traditional Sherry glass, or on the rocks as an aperitif in a white wine glass.
Medium Dry Sherry
With its deep fynbos honey colour, this Sherry exudes a thatchiness, dried apricot and peach, and spanspek aromas on the nose. The palate is rich with dried fruit notes, orange and lemon peel, and a pleasing nuttiness with spicy undertones Sherry lovers will enjoy.
It starts life as an Amontillado, which is partially aged under flor, after which it undergoes oxidative ageing and sweetening by the addition of grape must.
This Sherry is best described as opulent, though not heavy, and the finish is pleasingly persistent. It is the perfect accompaniment to a cheese platter (Parmesan, aged cheddar and gruyere are recommended), pâtés and fruit cake, and also complements Christmas mince pies and Christmas pudding. It’s an ideal accompaniment to traditional Spanish tapas such as Pinchitos Morunos (mini pork kebabs).
It can be served chilled to 8°C in summer or at room temperature in winter.
With a deep mahogany colour and nut-brown edge, this creamy Sherry features a rich complex nose of sultanas, raisins, dried fig, cinnamon and date notes. On the palate, it is rich, opulent and velvety, reminiscent of rum and raisin ice-cream, with a fine, dry finish and a lingering sweetness.
It perfectly complements Thai cuisine as it copes well with green pepper and lemon grass induced heat, and is lovely with sweet desserts such as tiramisu, and the heavy blue-vein cheeses, such as Roquefort and Stilton.
Best served around 16°C.
For more information, visit www.dgb.co.za.