There are numerous designations for dessert wines in the world. In Europe especially, many countries have their own proprietary dessert wines. These are generally made in strict accordance with local regulations. Italy has Vin Santo, Portugal has Port of course and Madeira which is specific to the Madeira Islands. Spain is home to several well regarded wine regions and has a bevy of varietals that flourish there, has Sherry as their best known entry in the Dessert category. Much like Port and Madeira there are numerous classifications and styles within the broader Sherry category. Each of them can be indicative of production method, aging requirements and even level of sweetness. The one I am looking at today is a blend of Oloroso (78%) and Pedro Jimenez (22%). The Pedro Jimenez is added to sweeten and balance the drier Oloroso wine.
The Williams & Humbert Dry Sack 15 is made in the Solera method. As the name indicates this wine was aged for a minimum of 15 years. The suggested retail price for this Sherry is $29.99
The nose of this Sherry has expressive toffee, hazelnut and spice notes. As you take the first sip, reference point to sweetness come out and play a little bit of a trick on your palate. While this wine does have a nice sweetness to it, it's a touch drier than it seems at first blush. Throughout the palate apricot characteristics play a huge role and are really quite lovely and bold. These are joined by gentler reminders of orange peel, figs, balsamic vinegar, continued hazelnut, and a host of spice notes. The finish of this Sherry is lengthy and clean featuring mineral and tea notes.
What I liked best about this Sherry is how well it threads the needle between dry and sweet. It offers elements of both and thus is a very well balanced wine that will pair well with a wide array of desserts. Because it isn't super sweet it's also easy to drink well on its own without fatiguing your palate. A truly gorgeous wine, and within the realm of dessert wines, this is a bargain.