Earlier this year, Gonzalez Byass released there limited edition Fino Sherry, En Rama, which is essentially there Tio Pepe just unfiltered and unfined, with a label out of the archives. Well they’re at it again, with the launch later this year of four aged Fino’s, (one is actually an Amontillado) under the Palmas name; Una, Dos, Tres and Cuatro, and again they’ve bee raiding the artwork archive for the label designs (which look very good).
As with the En Rama, they will be bottled straight from the cask with no filtering, clarification or sterilisation and will only be available through specialist wine merchants and high end restaurants, I was rather lucky the other week that I got to taste, what will hopefully be the final products.
Fino Una Palmas – They will be selecting the best casks from 142 which will still be covered with Flor from the 4th Criadera in the Gran Bodega Tio Pepe, where most of the casks are six years old. In the glass this had a very pale gold colour, with quite pronounced aromas of yeast with a hint of nuttiness coming through. This all came through on the palate with a gentle warming sensation from the fortification, all combining to make a beautiful Sherry.
Fino Dos Palmas – These will come from selected barrels from the 2nd Criadera which consists of 150 barrels in the Gran Bodega Tio Pepe. Many of the casks will have lost there Flor so careful selection will take place to ensure that they use barrels which still has there layer of Flor, helping to age the Fino, they will be around eight years old and are quite rare. As expected this was just a little richer than the Una, edging more towards the nutty (almond) characteristics than the yeasty ones of the Una, but still delicious.
Fino Tres Palmas - This will come from the 1st Criadera in the Gran Bodega Tio Pepe, and are around 10 years old, they will select barrels which still has a layer of Flor, but due to there age it will be very fine, and as such very rare. This one had a bright deep gold colour and again showed a much richer version of the first two, much more nuts and now with hints of sweet spice coming through and a greater warming sensation from the alcohol, absolutely stunning.
Fino Cuatro Palmas - This actually isn’t a Fino but an Amontillado coming from barrels aged around 45 years old, and will be selected from six casks called ‘Museo Solera’ in the Bodega La Cuadraba, which as you can probably imagine means there won’t be a lot of this one. This one though had an amber colour as the Flor had disappeared in the cask allowing it to oxidise slightly, but now along with the nutty flavours you much more sweet spice and baked fruit such as apples. It showed much more complexity than the others, and was absolutely stunning, but that is what you expect from this wine.
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All four of these Sherries were stunning in there own right, and showed greater complexity and depth of flavours as you moved up the range. Would I buy or recommend them, absolutely. If you know anyone who likes a drop of Sherry, but not your Bristol cream or Croft Original, then these will make a great present, or if you like a drop yourself, go on treat yourself, I will be!