Black Prince Releases Solera’s Cask – The County’s First “Apera” Aged In 80 Year Old Spanish Sherry Barrels

July 12th, 2015 | Posted in event

Joe Hache – Picton Gazette July 9, 2015

Back in May I led a bus group through Wine County stopping at 5 – 6 wineries. At Black Prince our group had a special sneak peek tasting of a secret nectar – released this Father’s Day!

This 10 year old masterpiece has been aging in giant 80 year old oak Sherry casks straight from Gonzalez Byass in Spain !  Even after a century of use they are as sweet and aromatic as new, thanks to master Cooper Pete Bradford.

“We were very fortunate to find these casks !”, exclaims Pete, “they had been long forgotten, and when I showed them to Geoff (Webb, Black Prince’s Winemaker) he nearly fell-over – but he had the old gold we needed to try to give them a second life.”

It is worth noting that this Sherry is a natural wine that does not need alcohol fortification to achieve its character. Geoff  points to the significant Spanish proportion of the BPW shareholding where he was able to source original recipes, allowing the production of these wines which stand a close quality scrutiny to Amontillado and Oloroso (cream) sherrys.

“It is all about the Barrels”, says Geoff, “that wood had seen so many vintages and was so saturated that when we warmed them up as part of the re-coopering process they literally started to ooze a caramel like substance extracted from their decades of  making Sherry in Spain – that is when we knew we had something very special”.

Once Spain became part of the European Common Market the use of the word Sherry was banned outside of Spain. Australia introduced the word Apera replacing “Sherry” and this word was also adopted by many Canadian producers.

Black Prince ran a contest on FaceBook to help name this wine. From the hundreds of suggestions that poured in SOLERA’S CASK was chosen which represents the traditional method of making Sherry known as Solera – a multi-level stack of Casks which always draw down from the very top Barrel to bottling from the ground level barrels – replenishing from the barrels above.

Solera’s Cask is a County first and available directly from Black Prince – it makes a very fine Aperitif.

A mellow nose with lots of fig. Supple flavors of smokey Sultana raisins lead to a medium off-dry finish of apricot, nut and orange peel. Old Gold, this velvety 10 year old classic is County grapes aged in real Spanish Casks from Gonzalez Byass.Black Prince Winery - Solera's Cask Label Proof copy