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Romate Solera Reserva Brandy de Jerez

Romate Solera Reserva
Brandy de Jerez


By Robert Plotkin

Brandies de Jerez are hot commodities with aficionados because of their lavish bouquets and lush layered palates. They are quite unlike another brandy. Such is the case with Romate Solera Reserva Brandy de Jerez.

Founded in 1781, the prestigious house of Sánchez Romate is located in the most celebrated appellation of Spanish brandy—Brandy de Jerez, which is located in the southwest province of Andalusia, the same region renown for its Jerez-Xeres Sherry.

Romate Solera Reserva is made from a foundation of pot-distilled grape spirits that exit the still and are immediately transferred to oak used previously for aging Pedro Ximénez and old Oloroso Sherry wines. The brandy will stay in the barrel for about 2 1/2 years. Once it has attained the deserved flavor profile, the brandy is moved to the Bodega's Solera, which the Spanish have made famous in the production of Sherry and Brandy de Jerez. Among the legendary benefits of Solera aging is maintaining the continuity of the brandy's character and preserving its noble lineage

In the Solera system, older brandies "educate" the younger euax de vie, enhancing their taste and character. Solera also ensures the blended brandies will be consistent from one year to the next. Solera aging utilizes a series of oak casks arranged in 3 tiers. The barrels on the top tier contain the youngest brandy, those on the middle tier contain older brandies and the barrels on the bottom are filled with the oldest brandy. When deemed appropriate, the master blender will remove half the contents of the barrels from the lowest tier for bottling. The barrels are then filled to capacity with brandy from the middle tier. Young brandy from the barrels on the highest tier are used to fill the casks on the middle tier.

Romate Solera Reserva is a bona fide treat for the senses. The brandy has a reddish/brown appearance, a sultry, curvaceous body and a brilliant bouquet of caramel, toffee, ground coffee and plump raisins. Its aromatic signature is sensational and similar to that of its older sibling, Cardenal Mendoza Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez. That's high praise indeed. The brandy has a complex, sherry-influenced palate of plums, caramel, spice and roasted nuts. The finish is long and elegant.

Its surgically precise balance makes Romate Solera Reserva ideally suited for use in contemporary drink making. There's no excessive sweetness to have to compensate for. What you get is nothing but flavor and a bakery fresh set of aromatics. What a prize.