| originally destined to be a fino or amontillado, it will initially have had a single stroke marked on the cask. When the overseer realizes that the wine is becoming a palo cortado, he draws a cross (or cut) through the initial stroke (or stick), resulting in a crossed stroke or 'cut stick' (/). At this time the wine will be fortified to about 17.5% alcohol, to prevent spoilage from contact with the air. As the overseer continues to monitor the wine over time, he may feel it necessary to add additional measures of alcohol to the casks to continue its
development. These additional measures are marked on the cask as additional crosses, and the resulting wine is designated 'dos cortados,' 'tres cortados,' etc. according to the number of 'cuts' marked on the cask. The greater the number of cuts, the greater the age of the wine.
Though a 'true' palo cortado is said to be produced accidentally, because of the demand for this style of wine it is sometimes produced intentionally by blending amontillado with oloroso to produce a wine with the hybrid flavour of a palo cortado—and a lower price than the naturally-occurring wine.
Jerez Cortado is a variety of palo cortado made not in Jerez, but in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Palo Cortado can be served as an apéritif with olives, nuts, cheese, or foie gras; it can also accompany fowl, red meats, or game. It should be served slightly chilled.
As palo cortado falls between amontillado and oloroso, it is relatively stable and may be stored for a few years before opening. After opening, it can be kept, corked and refrigerated, for a few weeks.
- Hidalgo Jerez Cortado
- Lustau Almacenista Palo Cortado "Vides"
- Williams & Humbert Solera Especial Palo Cortado VOS