A Sherry seminar: eight epic biologically aged Sherries

Yesterday I did a seminar on biological ageing and the importance of vineyard site in Sherry. It involved eight different, and rather beautifully aged biologically aged Sherries. These are sherries matured under a layer of yeast known as the flor, that sits on the surface of the wine in an incompletely filled barrel. Flor is a very interesting subject. Palomino Fino is the grape variety here (it’s an interesting variety!) and the soils are very interesting too, with high active limestone content. Together, the combination is a powerful one. Here are my notes on the wines:

Tio Pepe Fino Muy Seco Palomino Fino NV
From Carrascal and Macharnudo. So fresh, delicate and expressive with a lively nutty, tangy edge to the salty lemon and apple fruit. Full flavoured but delicate. 90/100

Barbadillo Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda NV
This is very rounded and complex with a saline thread supporting fine pear and apple fruit. Has some nutty, almond-like character and a long, soft finish. Very refined. 91/100

Lustau 3 en Rama Fino de Jerez de la Frontera NV, Spring 2018 release
Complex, fine, spicy lemony nose with some nuttiness and a bit of matchstick character. Really complex palate with some mineral, spicy matchstick reduction. Profound, salty and complex, this is a remarkable, characterful Fino. 94/100

Tio Pepe Fino en Rama NV, 2018 release
This is complex, lemony and quite thrilling, with almond, marzipan, spice and bright citrus pith notes. Finishes vital and limey with amazing freshness. Notes of bread, grapefruit and wax. Thrilling. 94/100

Hildago La Gitana Manzanilla Pastrana Single Vineyard NV
Comes from the Pastrana vineyard in the Miraflores district of Sanlucar, and this is a collaboration with Cristiano van Zeller. It’s aromatic with bread, nuts and a bit of honey. The palate is concentrated and bold with lots of textural richness. There are some tangy, salty notes but also some depth, as well as a lemony brightness on the finish. Pure and refined, in a rich style. 93/100

Valdespino Inocente Fino Single Vineyard Macharnudo Alto NV (magnum)
Refined, bright citrussy nose with some salty, seaside hints. The palate is pure, sealmess, elegant and quite profound. Lovely focus and freshness with a faint hint of seaweed, some candle wax and a refined, saline, lemony core, as well as some green apple. Just beautiful. 95/100

Bodegas Tradicion Fino Tradicion NV (magnum)
Aged for a long time under flor (8 years), this is profound. It has some salty, marine currents, swirling with notes of bread, nuts, citrus peel and crisp apple, as well as some old wood richness. So harmonious and complex, this has layers of flavour, and it’s pretty irresistible. 95/100

Williams & Humbert ‘Williams’ Collección Añadas Amontillado 2003
Bottled November 2017, Crianza Tipo Biológica. Yellow/gold colour. This is amazingly spicy and vivid with marmalade, lemon peel and almond characters. So powerful and complex, with some salty hints and a long citrussy finish. Very subtle wood notes with an amazingly powerful, complex personality. This is astonishing stuff. 97/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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