Montilla-Moriles is a Certified Origin, in Spanish ”Denominación de Origen” (D.O.) for wines located in the southern part of the province of Córdoba (Andalusia).
This region produces wines using similar techniques to those used for the production of sherry, that is, by crianza bajo velo de flor (which involves allowing a “veil” of flor yeast to form on the surface of the must in the casks) and por el sistema de criaderas y soleras (which refers to the process of aging the wine in soleras). Apart from forming a barrier between the wine and the air, the flor also causes certain chemical phenomena in the wine which affect the taste: they consume glycerine (thus conferring a typically dry character to the wine), they significantly reduce the volatile acidity level of the wine, and they produce great quantities of paraldehydes and acetaldehydes which are responsible for the almond notes of the wines.
We can find, according to its maturation, young, fine, amontillado and oloroso wine. These wines darken their tones, becoming generous wines, until reaching a maximum alcoholic strength of about 20º.
In addition, the sweet wine called Pedro Ximénez, made with this grape variety, originates from the Montilla – Moriles frame. Its consumption is becoming increasingly popular, largely due to its unique characteristics. It is consumed as an accompaniment to desserts or as part of sweet recipes, in addition to being tasted in any other circumstance.
Most of the wine produced in Montilla-Moriles is classified on the same system as sherry, though unlike sherry it is not fortified.
Vino Joven (young wine) or “joven afrutado” (fruity youth): All five of the grape types mentioned above can be used for making this wine. The grapes are usually harvested when the sugar content reaches around 190 g/l. The wines obtained are pale in colour, almost watery, transparent and bright, fruity in the nose and either dry or slightly sweet in the mouth.
Fino: The most common wine of the region. A clean, bright, light wine, yellow in colour in general while the ones from Moriles can have olive coloured overtones. In the nose, these are complex, subtle and delicate wines. Notes of yeast, almonds, tobacco and sometimes liquorice are the most common aromas. In the mouth, they are dry, bitter and smooth at the same time, and persistent in taste.
Amontillado: This is what results from allowing fino to age for many years under the correct conditions. As the fino oxidizes, its colour changes to amber or brown-yellow, and the taste increases in complexity. It has a persistent, dry and flavoursome taste in the mouth.
Oloroso: Aged, dark mahogany or topaz colour is due to the slow oxidization of the base wine. In the nose it is more complete than the amontillado, but less complex, with clear balsamic overtones. Velvety, full-bodied, lively and smooth at the same time, in the mouth.
Palo cortado: A wine that has the colour and nose of the amontillado, and the mouth of the oloroso.
Moscatel: A natural sweet wine made from the moscatel grape when it is very ripe or even almost turned to raisins. There are many types of moscatel wine, ranging from young sweet wines to old, aged wines with complex aromas and tastes.
Pedro Ximenez: In addition, there is a type of straw wine: a thick, sweet, syrupy, dark (almost black) wine made only from Pedro Ximénez grapes that have been sun-dried.