Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva is a Brandy de Jerez, a brandy made in the Spanish Sherry producing region of Jerez, Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva. It is aged in a Solera System, a fractional ageing process, more commonly used in Sherry production. The solera ageing process for spirits is quite rare and the only other spirit that is made in a similar way is rum. Sanchez Romate was founded by Juan Sánchez de la Torre in 1781 and is one of the last family-owned Sherry houses. However, it was not until the late 19th century that they moved in to brandy production. Regulated under the strict auspices of the Consejo Regulador – the Brandy de Jerez regulatory body – and the even stricter controls of the bodegas of Sanchez Romate itself, the Cardenal Mendoza brand surpasses these regulations with ease, making it one of the greatest and most sought after brandies from Jerez. According to the the unique traditions specific to Jerez de la Frontera, Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva is made by distilling a basic white wine from the region and then ageing the new spirit in 250 litres American oak casks for a period of 2 years. This is known as static ageing. The 2 year old brandy is then introduced into the unique dynamic ageing (also known as fractional ageing) system of the criaderas y soleras. At Sanchez Romate 500 litre casks, which have previously been used for ageing Pedro Ximénez (PX) and old Oloroso Sherry wines, are then used to age the brandy. The spirit is then continuously blended though the solera process for many years. Put simply,the 2 year old brandy is put in at the top layer of barreks of the solera and the oldest blended brandy is drawn off at the bottom bottom layer of barrels of the solera for bottling. So, as the brandy is drawn off the bottom it is continually being replaced at the top end. The casks are never emptied, so there is always a blending of new and old spirit with the new spirit and the old spirt each bringing their respective character to the brandy. As this is a fractional ageing process, it is impossible to put an age on this brandy, but Sanchez Romate put an average age of around 15 years on their Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva.