A blog and review on all things Sherry. It is about tasting, enjoyment and learning more about the World’s Finest Wine. "Sherry is a thoroughbred" as Javier Hidalgo rightly puts it. Included are the amazing local Brandies and the remarkably good table wines also produced in the province of Cádiz.
Ramón Jiménez Dávila was born in Albuñol, Granada
in 1833 and established his wine business in 1860 at the Bodega Victoria on the
west side of the Camino de Urdax (now Avenida de la Estación)
in El Puerto de Santa María. He also purchased the Viña La Rosa vineyard in the pago
Balbaina which supplied musts for some of his best wines, and recognising its
quality this vineyard was extremely well cared for. It had been a vineyard since at least the mid XVIII century, having passed through the hands of "indianos", people who had returned after making a fortune in South America.
The casa de viña at Viña la Rosa and the interior of the bodega Victoria
He married a girl from
Sevilla, Rosario Mateos Garabito (1846-1921), and they had nine children; five
girls and four boys who would continue the business after Ramón´s
death in 1912 under the style Hijos de R Jiménez Dávila. The firm lasted until the 1960s and now the bodega complex has gone having been replaced by housing.
In those days there were some 25
bodegas in El Puerto (not to mention 18 cooperages and 8 distilleries!) and Jiménez
was soon regarded as one of the best. His bodegas were full of infinite
varieties of Sherry with an unusually large range of Amontillados ranging from
wines which were still almost Fino to very old wines, as well as Manzanilla, Madeira, Málaga,
Tintilla, Pajarete and Port, and business was brisk with a thriving export
trade. As early as 1867 he exported over 260 butts.The firm won medals for the
quality of its wines in every competition it entered.
Some of the many brands were: Amontillados Medalla
de Oro, Rosa Blanca, Rosa Encarnada, Rosa Amarilla, Rosa Aterciopelada, all
from the Viña la Rosa, also Balbaina, Nobleza, Alfonso XIII, Reina Victoria, Imperial
Añada 1754 (this was expensive at 25 pesetas a bottle when one could buy 5
litres of a 14 year old Amontillado for the same price!) Then there were
Moscatel Casa Real, Pedro Ximénez NPU and Ponche Davila to name a few.
Grateful thanks to Bernardo Rodriguez Caparrini for information.