Palo Cortado is a unique and relatively rare style of Sherry that combines the characteristics of both Amontillado and Oloroso Sherry. It's known for its rich, nutty, and complex flavor profile. Here's some key information about Palo Cortado Sherry: The production of Palo Cortado Sherry is somewhat mysterious and often involves a bit of chance. It typically begins as Fino or Amontillado Sherry, aged under the protective layer of flor yeast. However, at some point, the flor naturally dies off or is intentionally killed, leading to oxidative aging, similar to Oloroso Sherry. This unique combination of aging processes gives Palo Cortado its distinct characteristics.
The winemaking process begins with fermentation, and after that, the wine is fortified with grape spirits (brandy) to raise the alcohol content to around 17-22%. What sets Amontillado apart is its unique aging process, which involves a period under the protective layer of flor yeast, similar to Fino Sherry, followed by extended oxidative aging, much like Oloroso Sherry.
Palo Cortado means 'cut stick'. This refers to a mark made on the cask when this style of wine is recognized. Since the wine was originally destined to be a fino or amontillado, it will initially have had a single stroke (stick) marked on the cask. When the overseer realizes that the wine is becoming a palo cortado, he draws a cut through the initial stroke (or stick). At this time the wine will be fortified to about 17.5 percent alcohol, to prevent spoilage from contact with the air. As the overseer continues to monitor the wine over time, he may feel it necessary to add more measures of alcohol to the cask to continue its development.
Palo Cortado wines display a complex bouquet of aromas. Some of them are closer to Amontillado (like orange zest, tobacco and leather) while others are typical for Oloroso (dried fruits, nuts, red fruits). Typically a Palo Cortado will also have a subtle lactic note, suggestive of fermented butter,
Palo Cortado Sherry or Montilla Moriles is a captivating choice for those who appreciate complex, nutty, and rich wines. Its unique combination of characteristics makes it a wonderful option for pairing with a wide range of dishes, from roasted meats to savory, cheese-based courses. It's a Sherry style that offers a unique and intriguing drinking experience.Palo Cortado Sherry or Montiolla-Moriles is best served cool between a temperature of between 13℃ and 16℃ It is typically enjoyed in small tulip-shaped glasses or copitas to concentrate the aromas. If these are not available, try a white wine glass.
Palo Cortado Sherry's complexity and nutty character make it an excellent choice for various food pairings, such as: