I remember first tasting the Tio Pepe Fino en rama. It was a great experience: an unfiltered, unclarified Fino sherry taken straight from the cask and bottled, just when the flor (the layer of yeast cells at the top of the wine in the barrel) is the thickest. This is in spring, and the thicker the flor layer the more tangy, vibrant and intense the wine.
Now we are up to the sixth release (2015), and although I’m comparing with my memory only, I reckon this is the best yet. And the good news is that the price of this wine, which has the complexity of a great white Burgundy, is still reasonable. You should probably buy a bottle or two. I tried this next to a commercial Manzanilla and it blew it out of the water.
My previous notes on this wine can be found here. You can also read about my epic experiences in the bodegas and vineyards of Gonzalez Byass blending the Las Palmas sherries last October. The rules say drink this within three months, but I really enjoyed the 2014 release tasted back in October, so it’s not a sin if you can’t finish your stocks immediately.
Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Fino En Rama NV
The 2015 release. Amazing stuff: vivid and spicy and intense with a lively, salty tang on the nose, as well as nice citrus freshness. The palate is lively, vinous and bright with a warm underlying spiciness and lovely complexity, finishing salty, waxy and nutty. Balances richness so well with freshness and presence. 93/100 (The Wine Society, Tanners £14.50; Majestic may also have some; and check your local independent – this will sell out quite quickly)