Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Spanish word which originally described sherry in the style of montilla. Today it has two related meanings in the sherry-making process. The basic fino wines become amontillado (Spanish for ‘like Montilla’) when the flor yeast dies and the wine is exposed to oxygen. This happens automatically if a fino type of sherry is fortified to 16% since the flor yeast cannot work in such an alcoholic environment. The wine turns amber and tastes richer and nuttier. A true Amontillado-style sherry is therefore an aged Fino. Cheaper Amontillados, the most common Amontillado encountered commercially, are created artificially by blending and are usually sweetened. They tend to be quintessentially medium. For more details, see sherry.