Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Sherry Andy Warhol Sleeve - 750ml
Fino Muy Seco
90 Points James Suckling
This is the prototypical fino sherry with all the salty and yeasty character you expect. Also dried-apple, pear and lemon-zest character. Generous, but very dry and salty on the palate with a refreshing touch of austerity. Where are the olives? Drink now, if possible from a freshly opened bottle.
Gonzalez Byass was founded in 1835 by Manuel Maria Gonzalez and remains in family hands today. Their first product was the iconic Tio Pepe, and they now present a full range of Superior and V.O.R.S. (wines aged for more than 30 years) sherries. With holdings and contract managed vineyards, all in the Jerez Superior area of the Jerez DO, they control over 10% of the DO sherry production. 90% of the grapes are Palomino and 10% Pedro Ximenez. They are the only winery in Jerez to grow their own PX. The vines are planted in the white Albariza soil, rich with clay and a high chalk content which is excellent for retaining moisture. These soil conditions, combined with over 3,000 hours of annual sunshine, fresh, humid breezes from the west and warm, dry breezes from the east and the proper amount of rainfall make ideal growing conditions for the grapes. All of the sherries have a distinct character produced by either the “Flor” or “Oloroso” methods and are all aged in the solera system.
The vineyards in Jerez are unique to the area. The soil in Jerez is majority Albariza, a white soil which contains up to 60% chalk and therefore has a large capacity for maintaining moisture, very important given the long, hot and dry summers as irrigation is prohibited. The area has a unique microclimate influenced by the surrounding Altantic ocean and rivers Guadalquivir and Guadalete. The prevailing winds are moist and warm, and now and again dry and hot levante winds from north Africa. Temperatures are warm with 70% humidity and annual rainfall is 600 liters/m2. The harvest in Jerez begins mid August and generally lasts for 3 weeks maximum.
The Palomino grapes destined for Tio Pepe are pressed using pneumatic Wilmes presses therefore obtaining the highest quality must. Only the 'mosto yema' the free run and first press must is used for Tio Pepe. Following fermentation between 11% and 12% alcohol the wine is fortified to 15.5% alcohol and then enters the Tio Pepe solera. Due to the 15.5% alcohol and the unique temperature and humidity in the Jerez cellars a layer of yeast known as the 'flor' will form on the surface of the wine. In order for this flor to form properly an empty space of 100 liters is left in the cask. This flor is the most important influence on the Fino wine as it protects it from oxygen and gives it it's unique aroma and character. The wine remains for a minimum of 4 years following the traditional solera system under the flor.
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