One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A Spanish method of producing wine, especially sherry and Madeira, whereby small amounts of younger wines stored in an upper tier of casks are systematically blended with the more mature wine in the casks below.
- ‘In the solera system, wine from many vintages is matured in the cellars in separate casks.’
- ‘In general, sherries produced by the solera system with flor are termed fino sherries while those without flor are termed oloroso sherries.’
- ‘The wine is then aged and the vintages blended following the same solera system used in Jerez for Sherry.’
- ‘Sherry-style wines are also made in California though they usually do not go through a solera system and most are sweet.’
- ‘The solera system consists of barrels stacked in tiers of 7-14, each row called a scale.’
- ‘The word manzanilla showed up in the Spanish language about 200 years ago, about the same time the solera system of making sherry began in Sanlúcar.’
- ‘The secret of sherry - one of the things that makes it unique in the world of wine - is the solera system by which it is made.’
- ‘You'll see mentioned that some regions use the solera system for elaborating wines.’
- ‘There are typically nine to 14 criaderas in a solera system although some manzanilla sherries can be made from as many as 19 tiers.’
- ‘Sherries develop their unique characteristics during aging in what has become known as the solera system.’
- ‘Even using modern pumps, a solera system is extremely labour-intensive and it is only in regions where labour costs are relatively moderate that a large solera is feasible.’
- 1.1count noun A blend of sherry or Malaga wine produced by the solera system.
- ‘We tasted some solera wines, together with some from Almacenistas Jurado and Zamorano.’
- ‘The night ended with this superb dessert wine, blended by master winemaker Phillip Ryan from old solera wines dating back to the 1930's.’
- ‘A date on a label of solera wine is not the vintage of the actual wine, but the year that particular solera system was set up.’
- ‘Sometimes solera wines are labeled with a vintage; this indicates when the solera was started, i.e.: 1805-a solera started 200 years ago.’
- ‘Also, given that vintage Madeira is not cheap, the solera wines are priced so that a nineteenth century solera wine is much less expensive that a true vintage Madeira of the ‘base’ year.’
- ‘There is a wide selection of Moscatels, from young wines to aged solera wines, which are jet black, aromatic and complex, with a slight bitterness of the palate that is balanced out by its natural sweetness.’
- ‘But from the 17th century much of Huelva's production was sold to Jerez, where it was blended anonymously into sherry soleras.’
- ‘Wines of all the Sherry categories are offered from soleras held by small producers who nurse these wines to perfection in small bodegas.’
- ‘No more than 10 percent of a solera wine may be drawn off for sale in any year.’
- 1.2count noun A wine cask, typically one with a capacity of four hogsheads, on the bottom tier of the solera system and containing the oldest wine.
- ‘It is the soleras (nearest to floor) that contain the oldest brandy.’
- ‘The soleras are topped-up with wine drawn from the next oldest casks, one of the many rows called "criaderas."’
- ‘But all the Jerez firms mature their brandies in soleras using American oak casks.’
Spanish, literally ‘cross-beam, stone base’.
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