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VOS is a Latin acronym which stands for Vinum Optimum Signatum (sometimes you also find the unofficial English equivalent To get a VOS label, the sherry has to prove an average age of 20 years or older. The problem is of course: how can you prove the average age of sherry when it is a mixture of hundreds of wines passing through a solera system for many years?It would be an incredibly complex formula which needs to take into account the starting date of the solera, the age of the starting wines, the refreshment rate of the solera, the number of scales, the amount and volume of all bottlings, etc.
The committee evaluates the organoleptic qualities of the wine and the evolution from the last sample. Less than 20% of the wines are rejected and most of these are sweet wines (Pedro Ximénez or sweetened Oloroso), which are harder to categorize because the sweetness makes them seem younger sometimes.
As explained below, the radiocarbon date tells us when the organism was alive (not when the material was used).
This fact should always be remembered when using radiocarbon dates.
Radiocarbon dating is one of the most widely used scientific dating methods in archaeology and environmental science.
It can be applied to most organic materials and spans dates from a few hundred years ago right back to about 50,000 years ago - about when modern humans were first entering Europe.