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I'm including a Alvear1927Solera PX in the flight of a tasting party I'm hosting. Brushing up on my winegeekish knowledge, I found (among others) the following hole:

Does PX must ferment?

- I have seen a few references to PX must being immediately fortified to about 10%, and then gradually increased to 16-18%.

Does this mean that the PX must does not ferment at all?.. the alcohol content coming instead entirely from the added brandy?
If so, is this because the PX must is too sweet for the growth of yeasts needed for fermentation?

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Thanks to "Gastronauta", and "Markus Randall" for the information.
-Badger, I'll certainly post a tasting note (its slotted for a tasting party Nov26)

...I recieved the following from Gavin Holt at MADABOUTSHERRY.COM... thought anyone following the thread might appreciate what he had to say.

"Pedro Ximénex are rich, sweet wines that are positively sticky. They are prepared from grapes, which are traditionally sunned for as long as possible, usually two weeks, before they are pressed. PX grapes are naturally high in sugar, but with the sunning makes them even sweeter, perhaps up to 24-30 degrees Baumé. If such grapes were pressed and fermented in the normal way for sherry, the sweetness of the must would be so great that fermentation would cease before all the natural sugar was used up. In practice, an even sweeter wine is needed for blending. To achieve this, the wine is vinified as a mistela. After pressing, the must is run into 600 litres casks which already contain some sixty litres of wine spirit, or aguardiente, which must totally clear of impurities. When the wine is made, it will register about twenty-four Baumé and about eight degrees of alcohol. As you may know, this process is not to dissimilar from that used to make port. With labour costs rising, few growers can afford to sun their grapes for the traditional period, this may be compensated by late picking. Consequently, more spirit is then used to get a sweet enough wine, the more the spirit, the less the fermentation and hence the sweeter the wine. In fact there is very little fermentation. The casks are filed to the top and tightly bunged. Only about one degree of sweetness is lost and converted into alcohol. After ar ound four months, the new wine is racked off its lees and a further dose of aguardients is then added, generally 18-20 litres. This will raise the alcohol content to thirteen degrees of alcohol, but the sweetness is diluted and is around twenty-one degrees Baumé. The sweetness and strength will vary between quite wide limits, depending on the initial sweetness of the grapes and how much aguardiente the grower chooses to add. These wines are very dark with less nose. They are however, still full of flavour."
Last nights tasting was an amusing success. Here's a tasting note for the "Alvear 1927 Solera PX":

Amber-gold towards brown in colour. Big nose of golden raisins, orange, toffee, molasses with slight rancio edge. Tasted of figs and golden raisins, soaked in espresso... orange, caramel, earthy. Very sweet, with lots of zip (acidity, and considerable -- but balanced -- alcohol). Very very long finish was suprisingly bright (apricot, orange, raisin). Excellent (Liquer-like; can't imagine wanting more than an ounce at a sitting)

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