Distilled holandas, or distillate, with an alcohol content of 42% (which has been aged in open air for three years beforehand) is used to refill the eighth (or youngest) level. The holandas is produced from the distillation of wine made from the Airén grape, which is also the raw material of Cardenal Mendoza Brandy. 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 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.
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