Thursday, 6 August 2015

Dry Sack Medium 19.5%, Williams & Humbert

Deep gold-tinted amber, legs.
Big, forthcoming and quite savoury, predominantly Oloroso with a faintly chocolatey note of PX and raisin. It is a touch spirity at 19.5% yet has a certain fragrance with hints of marmalade, walnut and an oxidative note.
Full, strong and textured with noticeable PX and lots of Oloroso but the Amontillado content appears to be minimal. It is genuinely medium and not too sweet, quite individual and old fashioned in fact, with a long satisfying finish.
This has been one of the firm's best sellers since its introduction in 1906, particularly in the UK and the US. The Palomino and PX grapes come from vineyards in Balbaína and Carrascal, and the wine consists of Amontillado, Oloroso and PX blended at the sobretablas stage and then aged as a blend in its own solera of (I believe) 16024 butts for a minimum average of 6 years. Total sugar content is 28 grams/litre. Personally I think it would be better at 18%/vol, as I found it quite strong.

The name is slightly confusing, as some people think it is dry, but in fact it is a drier (and superior) version of the old "sack" wine which was sweet, so it is medium. Television ads in the 1960s stressed that it was Medium. Originally it was marketed in a bottle enclosed in a hessian sack with a drawstring, but one doesn't see that any more unfortunately, except in occasional marketing. Dry Sack was served on the inaugural flight of Concorde in 1969. There is now a  range of three Dry Sack wines: Dry Sack Fino, Dry Sack Medium and Dry Sack 15 Years Old, and all are excellent
£ 11.95 from the Fine Wine Company, Edinburgh. UK importers Ehrmanns

The original design

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