Today I tasted…. Nectar Pedro Ximenez
First a confession – I actually tasted this yesterday as part of a tasting event I organised in Edinburgh. Today I’m in a car travelling to Yorkshire for work, and won’t be home in time to taste and post.
Nectar is made by Gonzalez Byass from Pedro Ximenez grapes, which are sun-dried to concentrate the sugars before pressing. The juice is so sweet that the yeasts that convert the sugar to alcohol struggle to survive, so significant fortification is required. It is aged for an average of 8 years.
Nectar is 15% ABV and has residual sugar of 380g of sugar per litre. This is not a drink that dentists would recommend!!
It pours thick and dark from the bottle and, if you swirl it, it clings persistently to the glass. On the nose there are aromas of dates, raisins, marmalade and a hint of chocolate, and it makes me think of rich fruit cake.
In the mouth, it has those same flavours but complemented by tastes of bitter black treacle and a liquorice finish. These balance out the luscious sweetness and stop the sherry being too cloying.
Nectar is definitely a viable alternative to dessert, to finish off a lovely meal, but would be great with strawberries or vanilla ice cream (one the great food pairings for PX). I once also had this wine paired with a Turrón mousse which was, in a word, fabulous.
Nectar is a really great value PX – it has richness and complexity that can compete with older and more expensive PX sherries. It’s also a crowd pleaser – at last night’s tasting it was the hands down favourite, even amongst those who professed not to like sweet wines. I predict an increase in sales of PX and vanilla ice cream in the Edinburgh area!