Sherry 1925 Marques de Mérito
Pepe Mérito, Fino Primo, Sotheby Parke Barnett & Co, Half bottle
Provenance: Private purchase, 7/1/1999
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Well before the Roman conquest some 2,200 years ago, the area around Cadiz, Spain already boasted a flourishing grape-growing and winemaking tradition. Canaanites, who founded the city around 900 b.c., brought vines and the winemaking trade with them. Greeks added to this knowledge and during Rome’s rule from about 200 b.c. to 100 a.d., Cadiz’s wine industry transformed from a local industry to a phenomenon throughout the known world. Vintages from the area around southern Spain soon were being shipped throughout the Empire. The drink that would become the sherry we know today was a favorite among the Roman elite.
Marques de Mérito(We currently have no information available on this brand)
Bodegas Díez Mérito
The history of Bodegas Díez Mérito starts in 1876 when Salvador Diez y Pérez de Muñoz starts a wine business with his brother. Initially, the firm operated from the South of France, where Salvador found himself in exile after fighting in the Third Carlist War which divided Spain. Their wines were sent to them by their father, a banker from Jerez. The business flourished, and a few years later they operated a large bodega across the train station in Jerez (still part of the Diéz Mérito company but sadly in decay). The company elaborated in the development of the first train lines in Barcelona and between Jerez and El Portal – a crucial line for bodegas giving them access to the Guadalete river and the sea.
In 1889 they took over the essential soleras of Ysasi y Cia. A third brother joined the company (they were now called Díez Hermanos), and in 1893 the Spanish king Alfonso XII appointed the company a Royal Warrant, which explains the Spanish Royal coat of Arms in their wine labels. More bodegas were taken over, including Fuentes Parilla and Riva & Rubio and at the start of the 20th century, Díez Hermanos was at the top of the export sales. Like many sherry bodegas at that time, they also started a branch in the Port and Madeira trade (later sold to Offley).
Bodegas Marqués de Mérito
Then there’s the Mérito side of the bodega’s heritage. Bodegas Marqués de Mérito was a vital producer founded in 1862. They owned extensive vineyards and large bodegas. In 1979 Díez Hermanos bought Marqués de Mérito and formed the Díez Mérito group. By doing so, they also acquired the stunning bodegas Bertemati, a typical and beautifully preserved bodega dating back to 1760 and named after its first owner, the Marqués de Misa. In 1981 the company was absorbed by Rumasa, incorporating to the portfolio labels as Pemartin (a bodega set up in 1818), Otaola Liquors and the Bertola brand. After the dismantling of the group, Marcos Eguizabal acquires the bodegas in 1985 and merges them with the Rioja bodega of Federico Paternina and Bodegas Bertola into the group Federico Paternina. While a lot of their praised wines for quality, commercial efforts are low, and the brand stays mostly in the shadow, especially after Equizabal died in 1994.
A new chapter starts in March 2016, when the local Espinosa family buys Díez Mérito. The Espinosas have been part of the sherry world since the early 1980s when they purchased their first vineyard and started a business as suppliers for Gonzalez Byass. They also have connections to the cooperative winegrowers Covijerez, which will still take up most of their harvest. They have big plans to put the Díez Mérito name back on the map. Besides the Bertemati bodega, the company also owns the Bodega El Cuadro and around 220 ha of vineyards,
Source Ruben https://www.sherrynotes.com