Gonzalez-Byass, Matusalem VORS
Gonzalez-Byass, Matusalem VORS
Product image 1Gonzalez-Byass, Matusalem VORS
Product image 2Gonzalez-Byass, Matusalem VORS

Gonzalez-Byass, Matusalem VORS

  • icon-type Type

    Fortified

  • icon-year Year

    NVNV

  • icon-style Style

    Medium Dry

  • icon-country Country

    Spain

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    20.5%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Palomino 75%, Pedro Ximenez 25%
  • Rating

    WS 90

Gonzalez-Byass' Matusalem is a sweetened Oloroso Sherry, making use of Pedro Ximénez early in the vinification process.

This VORS (over 30 year old) wine shows an intense mahogany colour with profound aromas of dried fruits, raisins, spices and mature oak. On the palate it is smooth, sweet, long and velvety. This wine has an interesting bittersweet finish due to the sweetness of the PX and the bitter tannins from the oak.

Ideal with mature cheeses and blue cheese such as Stilton. Also perfect as a dessert wine with apple pie. Serve chilled.

A lesser known detail...

According to winemaker Antonio Flores the base wine for Matusalem is its younger sibling Solera 1847, a blend of around 8 years old, which then passes through the Matusalem Solera for an additional 22 or more years. Blending the components early in the process results in a smoother, more natural feeling wine than those blended at the moment of bottling.

About Gonzalez-Byass

González Byass is one of Spain's best known Sherry bodegas. It is most widely known for its flagship brand Tío Pepe, although it produces a full range of Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso, Amontillado and Pedro Ximénez sherries.

The company is made up of several individual bodegas with various solera barrel systems, including La Concha (The Shell) with an unsupported circular roof engineered by the Eiffel studio (who designed the Eiffel Tower) in the 1860s. The Tío Pepe bodega was finished in 1963 and holds 28,000 sherry butts on three floors, while the huge Las Copas facility, built in 1972, holds 80,000 butts.

González Byass was founded in 1835 by Manuel María González Angel and Robert Blake Byass. The González family were responsible for installing Spain's first electricity and running water at the plant, and were involved in various other innovations in Spain. González Byass also owns the Viñas del Vero company which produces 40 percent of wine in the Somontano DO, Vilarnau Cava in Penedés, Bodegas Beronia in Rioja and Rueda, Finca Moncloa in Cadiz and Finca Constancia in Toledo.

González Byass was rated number six in the '100 Best Wineries of 2014' list compiled by the World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists.

Grape variety
Palomino

Palomino Fino is a white grape widely grown in Spain and South Africa, and best known for its use in the manufacture of sherry. It is also grown in the Douro region of Portugal where it is used for table and fortified wines.

Alternative Names: Listan Blanco, Listan de Jerez, Fransdurif, Manzanilla de Sanlucar

Pedro Ximenez

Pedro Ximénez (also known as PX and many other variations) is the name of a white Spanish wine grape variety grown in several Spanish wine regions but most notably in the denominación de origen (DO) of Montilla-Moriles. Here it is used to produce a varietal wine, an intensely sweet, dark, dessert. It is made by drying the grapes under the hot sun, concentrating the sweetness (similar to straw wine production), which are then used to create a thick, black liquid with a strong taste of raisins and molasses that is fortified and aged in solera.

Historically Pedro Ximénez is grown in Australia to make fortified wines and sherry type wines known by the Australian term - Apera. It is often used for blending and to make botrytised dessert wines and still lends itself in the Swan Valley to the making of dessert wine today. This grape variety has thrived in Western Australia's Swan Valley since its introduction there due to the hot climate growing conditions. The vine requires a rich soil and short pruning. James Busby brought some Pedro Ximénez to Australia in 1832. Some were imported from Jerez and planted at Clarendon; a transfer from the Sydney Botanic Garden is recorded in around 1839.

Pedro Giménez (Pedro Jiménez) is a widely grown criolla variety in South America whose relationship to Pedro Ximénez is uncertain, as it shows ampelographic differences.

Alternative Names: Pedro Jimenez, Perrum, Don Bueno

About Jerez - Xeres - Sherry

All true Sherry fortified wine comes from the vineyards around Jerez de la Frontera and the nearby coastal towns of Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Together these three towns form the three points of the 'Sherry Triangle'. The Jerez DO (Denominación de Origen) title was Spain's very first, awarded in 1933.

Palomino Fino is the principal grape variety, used for Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado and Palo Cortado wines. Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel de Alejandria are used for sweeter styles.

Flor and Principal Dry (Generoso) Sherry Categories

Once a base wine is fermented, each tank is assessed and it’s decided whether the wines will be aged with or without flor. Wines categorised as palo (stick) are marked with a vertical slash, fortified to ~15%, and earmarked for Fino or Manzanilla. Mitad y mitad (half and half) is a fortification mix of spirit and aged Sherry. Fino and Manzanilla undergo biological aging under flor del vino (flower of wine). The normal yeasts for alcoholic fermentation die as sugar is consumed in base wine production. But then a specialised group of ambient yeast species appear, forming a film on the liquid surface. This layer protects the wine from oxidation while metabolizing glycerine, alcohol and volatile acids. For it to form, humidity, airflow, temperature all have to be correct, as does the alcohol level of the wine.

Other base wines are fortified to ~17.5%, classified as gordura, and marked with a circle. This level of fortification means that flor cannot develop. The wines undergo oxidative aging only, and will become nutty, rich Oloroso Sherries.

Fino wines are more delicate and almond toned, with a salty tang. They have a final alcohol by volume of 15% to 18%. A Fino ages under a protective layer of flor, but with extended aging the flor may disappear and the wine begins to oxidate, taking on nutty character. A Fino-Amontillado bottling may result, but otherwise the process continues and results in a full Amontillado. Such wines will have a final alcohol level between 16% to 22%. Because Fino and Manzanilla are aged under flor, they have typically been heavily fined and filtered to remove yeast and other sediments.

Recently en rama wines have become popular. These are bottled with no or minimal filtration, and are an intense, fuller bodied wine, closer to a cask sample.

Palo Cortado (cut stick) Sherries start life aging under Flor. But the richness of the wine leads the cellar master to fortify again to around 17%. This kills the flor and the Sherry finishes maturation in the style of an Oloroso. The finished wine combines the richness of Oloroso and the delicate aromas of Amontillado.

Sweet Sherry

Sherry may be bottled direct from the Solera as a Generoso, but many Sherries are sweet blends. Dulce Pasa – sun dried Palomino Fino grapes – are the most common sweetening agent. Pedro Ximénez is more expensive and so tends to only feature in pricier wines. Pale Cream is essentially a sweetened Fino. Cream is a sweetened Oloroso – and sometimes labelled as Oloroso Dulce. A Medium Sherry may include some Amontillado. Confusingly, a generic Dry Sherry will also have been sweetened to some degree.

Solera Aging

Few Sherry wines are vintage releases. Instead a blending system known as a Solera is used. New wines are placed in a top tier of butts (casks) known as the criadera. At the other end of the Solera is a tier of butts called the solera, from which wine is removed for bottling. There may be anything from three to 14 criadera tiers feeding the solera butts. Only one quarter of the Solera butt may be drawn off at one time. It is then topped up by the "lowest" level of criadera butts, which in turn are topped up from the above tier. In this way the solera – in theory at least – continues indefinitely with a (diminishing) portion of original wine. Sherry wines are often given an age statement which is based on when the solera was started.

Regular price $84.00

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