Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry
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  • For that reason alone, I think it deserves pride of place in any ranking of sherries

    • by Andrew HN Gray

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      The Spanish have a thriving wine industry which produces some of the better-known brands in the world. The Cava brand could be argued to be the ‘poor man’s champagne’ by some, but it must be said that many of the Spanish Cavas are actually nicer than the Champagne they are competing with. To a great extent, Spain has suffered (as has Italy, to some extent) at the hands of the French wine industry which has been organised in a way which left the competition standing.

      The French have something called ‘Appellation Controllee’ which is a way of confirming quality as well as ‘terroir’ or area within which a wine originates. This means that there are no Champagnes that come from anywhere other than that specific region.

      Equally, Chateauneuf du Pape can only be from one specific area and so on. This gives the buyer confidence that a French wine will be consistent. The more a wine produced a fine vintage, for reasons of soil and climate, the more it was sought-after. Thus, Chateau d’Yqyem can be said by some to be the greatest wine in the world because the French have adhered to their strict quality control and terroir system for so many years.

      Of course, Spain, like other countries, has been promoting its fine wines, of which Rioja is one. They are still climbing the greasy pole which all competition with France has to do and which some, like the Australians, of late, having been doing with great success.

      So where do

      the Spanish win through? The Portuguese, of course, have a fine tradition of port. Since the eighteenth century, the Portuguese have hosted British families who have lovingly produced fine ports which were consumed in great quantities in the UK and elsewhere. In Spain, however, one particular jewel lies unchallenged in their family vault. That is the produce of the Jerez region.

      Jerez is a drink which has been treasured in the British Isles almost as much as it has been in Spain, for generations. In English, the name ‘Jerez’ (‘Chereth’ in Castillian pronunciation) is rendered as ‘Sherry’ and it has a place in most British drinks cabinets. Perhaps there is less enthusiasm in the UK for the drier varieties (or ‘fino’ ) of sherries, but ...

      • Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry
      the enthusiasm for the drink meant that many British manufacturers have made something called ‘British Sherry’ to take a slice of the market. These ‘British Sherries’ are a pale imitation of the real thing, it must be said and, when compared to the likes of Harvey’s ‘Bristol Cream’, they are cast by the wayside. Most are simply very sweet wines.

      Of all the sherries on the marketplace in Britain, the one which is, without doubt, the market leader, is Harvey’s ‘Bristol Cream’. It is a rich, dark, golden colour and it flows with a distinct viscosity when poured. It comes in a quite unusual, blue bottle, which is unique and clearly marks it out from all the other sherries and different drinks on the shelves. Being

      a fortified wine (brandy is added to it after it has fermented), it is quite different from other wines and could, if one were being pedantic, be classed as a different drink for that reason.

      Nonetheless, sweet, or ‘cream’ sherry, like ‘Bristol Cream’ has a lusciousness of taste that other, dry sherries lack. The range of sweet or cream sherries on the marketplace is quite wide, some being pale and others, like Harvey’s, being dark. The fact, is, however, that Harvey’s has a length of taste (in other words, the taste lingers long after the mouthful has been swallowed) which I maintain makes it stand out head and shoulders above the opposition. For that reason alone, I think it deserves pride of place in any ranking of sherries.

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 271301951220531/k2311a0113/1.13.10
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