Styria meets Spain

Kuerbiskernparfait mit Gewuerz-Orangen.. is applicable for the dessert Pumpkin seed parfait with spice-oranges (recipe in sweet wines and food), in which the Styrian pumpkin seed parfait is served with oranges from Spain. The two wines (tasted wines) we tasted are also of Spanish or formerly Spanish origin: a PX (Pedro Ximénez) sherry from Montilla-Moriles and a French Rivesaltes Hors d’Âge from Roussillon, – a state formerly governed by the King of Mallorca.

PX Sherry Alvear

Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927, Bodegas Alvear (16% alcohol by volume)
Dark brown, pronounced scent of raisins, in the mouth with dried dates and figs, rancio and in the background delicate eucalyptus notes. Although very sweet (405 g / l residual sugar), the wine looks well balanced due to its almost tangy acidity.

The Bodegas Alvear in Montilla are located in the Denominación de Origen (DO) Montilla-Moriles, in the south of the province of Cordoba. This DO, together with the two DOs in the sherry triangle, is one of the major producers of sherry. However, mainly the Pedro Ximénez grape variety is used here for the production of sherry, in Jerez mainly Palomino fino. Not least because of this, DO sherry differs in taste from those from Jerez. The grapes mostly thrive on white, calcareous, less fertile but well water-storing Albariza soils or on red, iron oxide-containing Ruedo soils – in one of the warmest climates in the world. During the growing season, temperatures often exceed 40 ° C. With little rainfall and high solar radiation, this offers very good ripening conditions for the grapes. The Pedro Ximénez Sherry from Bodegas Alvear was, as the name Solera 1927 suggests, taken from a Solera started in 1927.

Rivesaltes Hors d’Âge, Domaine Força Réal (15% alcohol by volume)
Copper red, on the nose notes of ripeness, spices and tobacco, on the palate these aromas and also caramel, candied orange, plum, walnut and some coffee. Fine, unobtrusive sweetness with a delicate acidity, the spicy dark notes remain in the finish for a very long time.

The vineyards of Domaine Força Réal are located on terraces, 100 to 450 meters above sea level above Millas, on the slopes of the mountain where the Força Réal castle of the King of Aragon and Mallorca used to be enthroned. The rocky soils of these terraces consist of slate, limestone, clay and loam. There is a Mediterranean climate with over 2,500 hours of sunshine and little annual rainfall. Strong winds, which dry the vines quickly when wet, provide natural protection against plant diseases. The Rivesaltes Hors d’Âge is one of the Vin Doux Naturel wines, which are wines that retain their “natural sweetness” because they are fortified early during fermentation. Hors d’Age as a designation states that a wine has been aged for at least 5 years after production, but usually longer, as is the case with the Rivesaltes from Domaine Força Réal, which has matured for 8 years in oak barrels. The grapes for this (80% Macabeu, 10% each Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc) are handpicked and, after a short maceration, fermented in stainless steel under temperature control.

Both wines harmonized very well with the pumpkin seed parfait and the spice-oranges. Due to its spicy orange notes, the Rivesaltes goes one better with the spice oranges, which get their flavor from cardamom, star anise, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla. The PX sherry, on the other hand, goes better wiht the pumpkin seed parfait, which is sweeter and whose aromas are strongly influenced by roasted pumpkin seed and its oil.

More information on Sherry, PX Sherry, Vin Doux Naturel and Rivesaltes ambré.

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