Just as with my last comparison of wines from these two regions the differences are far more pronounced than the similarities. It is an unfair comparison in so many ways – fundamentally different cepages, ages, and soils – and in this kind of company even very nice wines can come across as a touch rustic. Moreover it was not a well planned experiment – I expected more wood from the Pouilly Fuissé and now that I look at the ficha I see I have picked the wrong one altogether. Half of this was aged in lined concrete tanks and half in 2nd to the 5th use barrels (although in sherry terms I am guessing that a 5th use barrel would still be considered relatively “new” oak). I really need to sit down and work out a more useful series of side by sides (John set out some cracking minerals suggestions in the comments to that last post – will get working on those too.)
What is evident though is that the attitude to the use of wood in one case and the other seems to be slightly different – to an extent the Socaire makes use not of the wood itself but of the wine impregnated into the wood, trying to extract, with some success, the unique characteristics of the fino, rather than the oak, to enrich the aromas and palate. I was over categoric in my last post when I said that there was no conversation about barrel ageing in Jerez and Sanlucar (and Chiclana) and was duly put right. But although it is true there is indeed much more discussion about the botas used to age wines, I still don’t really see the same level of interest in the age or qualities of the oak itself.