That time of year has arrived once again – not Halloween, but the selection of Gonzalez Byass’ Finos Palmas Collection.
And this time, Spanish wine expert Pedro Ballesteros MW joined Gonzalez Byass’ master blender Antonio Flores in Jerez to help curate the selection.
Ballesteros adds his name to list of international critics such as Jancis Robinson MW, Sarah Jane Evans MW and Michael Schachner.
The family-owned collection of Spanish wineries invites international wine professionals each autumn to taste their way through the fruits of its labours and help decide which will make the cut for the Las Palmas Collection.
They aided fifth-generation family members Vicky and Carlos Gonzalez Gordon and Carlos Gonzalez Gordon in tasting over 100 wines, with the very best making the 2017 Palmas Collection.
The wines, Uno, Dos, Tres and Cuatro Palmas have become well respected, and scooped numerous awards since launching in 2012.
‘For me, first of all, it an unforgettable lesson in the bodega terroir, which is second to none. The flor yeasts transform the wines in unique unrepeatable ways; each bota is a different ecosystem, amazing!’ Ballesteros said.
‘Finesse, depth and complexity are the distinctive features of Las Palmas. It’s a humbling and highly demanding exercise to spot so subtle concepts in long series of high quality wines. But the results are worth the effort.’
Una Palma is pale gold, sharp and intense with a floe-dominated aroma, dried fruits and a savoury finish. Expert a structured, oxidative style from Dos; powerful and the palate with a lingering finish.
After 10 years beneath the flor, considerably more age can be detected from Tres, with oak, a flavourful palate and a salty, creamy aftertaste.
Finally the Cuatro, an Amontillado Muy Viejo, leads with orange, concealing oak, dried herbs, lacquer, varnish and roasted nuts. Aged for 52 years, it’s fino origins shine through with a delicious salty finish.
Uno 15.5% abv, Dos 15.85% abv, Tres 16% abv, Cuatro 21.9% abv; tbc/75cl; 017087274790