Tio Pepe

Given my love and devotion to the wines from Jerez, it's a bit of a surprise that I've never bothered to post a note for this benchmark Fino. About six years ago my mate Broomie and I toured the impressive Gonzalez Byass bodega. The scale was staggering. They never commented on just how many bottles they produced, but given the seemingly endless barrels in the solera, I imagine it's quite a lot. Yet the quality, regardless of scale, is extraordinary. This is a good thing. Tio Pepe is ubiquitous throughout the UK. It's nice to know that, theoretically at least, you're never too far from a decent glass of Fino. Sadly, far too many of the bars and restaurants that stock it leave it open too long, dooming it lose its freshness and zing to oxidation. Ah well.

Silver and bright with green highlights

Nose of hay, flint and sourdough bread with limes soaked in olive brine.

Imagine tearing a chunk of sourdough bread, squeezing lime juice onto it, dipping it in olive oil and then smearing it with green olive tapenade. This wine is like that. But then it finishes by crunching oyster shells with lemon peel. Benchmark fino.


Tasted at Luvians Bottleshop, 1 November 2011