Characteristics of the varietal Pedro Ximénez.

We are following on from our recent review of white grapes from Spain. After having highlighted the characteristics of Verdejo, Viura and the Galician varieties Albariño and Godello, we now travel to the south of the peninsula to focus our attention on the varietal Pedro Ximénez.

A grape varietal that is like no others sweet Spanish wine, offering us some of the best dessert wines in the world. Would you like to find out more about PX? let’s go!

vinedo-jerezEstate and vineyards in DO Jerez.  Image by Ignacio Palomo (CC BY 2.0)

The varietal Pedro Ximénez is located mainly in Andalucía, more exactly in the appellations of origin jerez, Montilla-Moriles and Málaga.

The most important characteristic of the PX, more so than its fine skin, juicy pulp and medium size grape, is its sugar levels, a property that converts this varietal into an ideal candidate for the production of rasins and naturally sweet wines, this means, no additional sugars are added.

To produce the typical characeristics of Pedro Ximénez wines, the grapes are picked and transported to the ‘paseras’ (placed on the ground in a field) where they will be dried out by the sun. This is however, a very time consuming process, where every 2 to 3 days the grapes are turned over, to insure that each grape dries evenly.

Once the grapes arrive at the winepress, the must is extracted and given a partial fermentation to conserve the natural sugars. This is competed leading the wine to the desired level by the winery.

Would you like to know of some good wines produced from the grape Pedro Ximénez? Here are our recommendations

Alvear Pedro Ximénez 1927 Since the D.O Montilla Moriles produces Alvear 1927, made from raisined grapes that are 100% Pedro Ximénez and aged for 5 years by the Spanish technique: criaderas y soleras. A juicy, strong and enveloping sweet wine with a great quality to price ratio, unbeatable. 96 Parker points for only 10,75€!

Don PX 2012 we are staying in the same place to highlight another great sweet wine from this region. Don PX 2012 is a dessert in its self, although aswell as functionning as an ideal partnership for blue cheeses. High recommended.

Ximénez-Spínola Exceptional Harvest 2014 Who said that the varietal PX only offers sweet wines, they obviously never tried this wine! Ximénez Spínola Exceptional Harvest originates from a fermentation of the PX grapes with its own husks, aged for 4 months in oak barrels with constant battonages. A different wine, full of so many tones. Fresh and warming at the same times. Juicy, deep… A MUST!

These are only three recommendations, but there are so many more options! What is your favourite PX wine?

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