González Byass to launch single-estate fino sherries

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Drinks: Drinks, Sherry, Wines

Sherry lovers: if you’ve ever wanted to taste the terroir of Jerez, then you’ll soon get your chance. Because Imbibe has discovered that the team at González Byass are looking to create a series of single-vineyard finos.

‘It’s something that we would want to happen in a few years,’ confirmed assistant winemaker Silvia Flores, who is soon to take over as cellarmaster from her father the legendary Antonio Flores. ‘We would want to focus on the soil.’

Key to the project are the vineyards of the Jerez Superior, where the González Byass-owned vineyards are located.

‘That’s where the best pagos [estates]are,’ Flores told Imbibe. ‘The soil is all albariza but the composition of the limestone varies. And though we don’t have pronounced slopes, the different vineyards are affected by the various winds we get: the Levante from the east and the Poniente from the west, so there are differences in character.’

The grapes for the single-vineyard sherry would be aged in a solera of their own for six years, though volumes would likely be very limited – early estimates suggest only a couple of hundred bottles – and expensive.

Though given that their other top-end wines are all on allocation the team at González Byass are confident that the pago wines would easily find a home.

Sarah Pollard, brand manager for Gonzalez Byass in the UK said, ‘With our Palmas and En Rama releases we have shown that there is a demand in the UK restaurant trade for wines like this.’

This is part of a continuing process of innovation in the fine and rare sector by the producers of the world’s most famous fino.

In the last 10 years, they have launched En Rama (taken from 62 special casks in the Tio Pepe solera) and its Palmas range of small volume older finos.

They have also launched vintage finos from 2010 and 2011 in Spain, though these are not available in the UK.

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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