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Monday, 18 July 2011

Harveys 30 Year-Old PX Sherry‏

Sweet dark sherries make wonderful dessert wines and are usually a blend of dry oloroso for toasty, nutty, raisiny aromas with a lesser amount of intense Pedro Ximénez for sweetness.

On its own, PX can be just too intensely sweet and cloying to be an enjoyable drink, so I tend to approach 100% PX sherries with a bit of caution.

This one from Harvey's, however, is a bit different from run-of-the-mill 100% PX (if such a thing exists).

Like most 100% PX, it has the colour and consistency of used engine oil and, on first opening the bottle, the texture is syrupy and full of glycerol. There are the usual coffee, fig and toasted nut aromas but noticeably a deliciously fresh acidity which keeps the intense sweetness in balance.

This is not a wine to polish off in an evening and after a couple of days, the heavy glycerol feel seems to have died away and the aromas have opened up even more. It is full of deliciously intense Christmas-pudding aromas - raisins, figs and dried mixed fruit - as well as syrup, coffee, dark chocolate and liquorice.

Rich, delicious and intense, I would defy anyone to try this and not beam gently with a glow of self-satisfaction as it tickles, soothes and gently warms with those wonderfully dark, sensual aromas.

Aged for at least 30 years in a solera that commenced in 1919, it is smooth, mellow and integrated.

There is a theory that you need less of dessert wines as they are so intense, but I often find them so more-ish that for me this does not usually apply.

However, this is perhaps quite the most intense dessert wine I have ever had and indeed it does need to be sipped rather than slurped.

In small quantities, it can be sipped as a pudding in its own right. It also works well drizzled over vanilla ice cream or matched with rich, intensely sweet, dark desserts such as Christmas pudding or fig and date tarte.

Finally, it also works well with roasted plums, peaches or nectarines drizzled with syrup and vanilla sugar and served with sweetened vanilla cream.

Harveys 30 Year Old Pedro Ximénez, from £20.22 at Waitrose online, Booths and thedrinkshop.com.

Provided for review.

Review by Tom Cannavan here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqowmtfvZcc&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

Links

Waitrose - http://www.waitrosewine.com/

Booths - http://www.booths.co.uk/

thedrinkshop.com - http://www.thedrinkshop.com/

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