Pfeiffer Seriously Fine Apera NV

Childhood memories can have lasting impressions. Taking a quick, surreptitious swig of Grandma's port or sherry as a youngster was not the ideal way to introduce yourself to the world of wine. All you could feel from the experience was your very insides wanting to depart your mortal coil ! Thankfully, over time things and tastes do change and one's stomach evolves to cope with fortified wines such as sherry.   

To avoid a modern-day Spanish Inquisition of sorts, Australian regulations now prohibit the use of 'sherry' as a descriptor with 'apera' nominated the official go-to word. Cool term this, a play on the word 'aperitif', which at the same time keeps the Iberians reassured !

The grape varieties used in the Pfeiffer Seriously Fine Apera NV are Palomino or Palomino Fino to be exact, and the rare French variety Monbadon. The winery claims to have the only known plantings of Monbadon in Australia and use it for its similarities to Palomino.

Palomino is a white grape variety from Spain's Andalucia region used primarily in the production of sherry. The white variety Monbadon known as Berger in the United States, is the offspring of the Cognac grapes Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanc and from accounts is now virtually extinct in Southern France. 

The Apera is pale straw in colour with fresh aromas of almond, vanilla, apple and citrus on the nose. A dry palate displays roasted almond, some bitter herbal notes and citrus flavours that are refreshingly intense. It has a body the lighter side of medium. There's a freshness also that reminds of sea spray/sea shells, underpinned by appealing minerality and a tangy bitterness to both mouthfeel and finish. Serve chilled.

This wine has won accolades and awards as long as your arm over the years, the latest a trophy from the 2016 AAVWS for the Best Fortified Wine. So why turn to the Spanish stuff when Jen Pfeiffer along with other dedicated winemakers are producing such seriously good apera, helping to create a new wave of appreciation for the great Australian fortified wines of yesteryear. Now, Grandma would be pleased.    

Source: Sample courtesy of Pfeiffer Wines. ABV: 16.0%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $29.00. 
Rating:  91+ Points. Website:

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