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Common synonyms: Ximénez, Jimenez, Ximénès, Pedro, Pedro Giménez, Pedro Jimenez, Pedro Khimenes, Pedro Ximénès, Pedro Ximenes De Jerez, Pedro Ximenez De Montilla, Pero Ximen, Pasa Rosada De Malaga, Uva Pero Ximenez, Uva Pero Ximen, Pero Ximenez, Alamis De Totana, Alamis, Myuskadel, Ximenecia and the abbreviation PX
Parentage of the grape: None found. Ancient variety. There is a legend that it was brought from the Rhine by a Spanish soldier in the 17th century, but this has not been substantiated. It is not to be confused with the completely different variety called Pedro Gimenez that is found in Argentina and Chile.
History of the grape: Though it is grown throughout southern Spain, this grape variety is best known for the wines it produces in Andalucia, particularly Montilla-Moriles. Less productive and more disease-prone than Palomino, it is almost never grown in Jerez anymore, but is imported there from Montilla Moriles. The grapes are then left out to dry for weeks in the hot Andalucian sun and made into the famous dessert wines that are often labeled simply “PX.” In Montilla Moriles, it is made in every traditional sherry-type style. It is also imported into Malaga.
Oddly enough, while the Spanish complain about this finicky grape’s low yields, Australian growers are able to get obscene yields from it and use it for low-quality blends. Others in Australia do make extremely high-quality, often botrytized dessert wines from this variety.
Characteristics of the grape: Medium-low in acidity, grapey. When aged and blended in solera (or just aged -- it can live for decades) it turns literally black and gains complex flavors of raisin, fig, and chocolate.
Regions where the grape currently is important: Andalucia, Spain
Type or types of wines the grape produces: Best known for the dessert wine of the same name, Pedro Ximenez is made into the full range of sherry styles in Montilla Moriles. In the hands of a great producer such as Alvear, they tend to be more concentrated than the wines made from Palomino. In Australia, Pedro Ximenez appears in bulk blends, but also in high-quality dessert wines.
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