We had a bottle to try in the office today with a few nibbles; salted almonds, manchego, olives and tortilla chips. I’m a bit of a sherry fan and really liked it but it was one of the more divisive bottles we’ve had! It was nutty and fresh with a lovely zippy salinity. Has anyone else tried it yet or are planning too?
Not yet Catherine, but coincidentally I’ve just read another note from someone else (elsewhere) saying how good this one is.
I feel an order coming on…
Yes saw that note too. Must give it a go.
Glorious stuff, loved it
Enjoyed last years, wonderful Fino!
Its on the list to get some, had some of the 2017 en Rama back to back with the standard Tio Pepe - amazing difference!
Getting mine from the Showroom today if I can! Was lucky enough to have a sneak preview a few weeks ago and it was LUSH. Looking forward to showing it to my parents too as they’re big fino fans (especially Tio Pepe) but had never heard of En Rama for some reason!
I think it is because En Rama was something The Wine Society started for them - it isn’t a usual release of their Sherry. Hopefully it will catch on as Beaujolais Nouveau has (although slightly tastier!)
It has. Multiple producers now make an En Rama version of their Fino or Manzanilla.
It is really interesting to see how innovation happens at the margins of the sherry category. It used to be clear: Fino (or Manzanilla) / Amontillado / Oloroso (and PX if you like that sort of thing)*
Then there were some explorations of Palo Cortado (my favourite) which, in theory, straddles the Amontillado and Oloroso categories, and also the ‘Pasado’ style that was somewhere between Fino and Amontillado.
Then came En Rama to give a special out-of-the-ordinary Fino experience that eschewed the very filtered and reasonably precise style of the mass-market Finos
The question is: what next? I recently read something about ‘unfortified sherry’ by @Henrygjeffreys and I now really want to try this too!
- I’m ignoring the Cream categories
I am not a natural sherry lover but do appreciate the wonderful finos in particular that are available now, very few wines have a nose anyway near the better ones.
The first time I tried a Palo Cortado was a Hidalgo one from the old Lay and Wheelers and have had several others since, they vary a lot because they are a natural phenomenon as a fino gone rogue during the flor process some get very near to an Oloroso which is their natural destination.
Sherry is underappreciated, but unlike Port it is making big and successful efforts to increase sales in the premium category as the cheap sherry market has collapsed resulting in the grubbing up of vines and wineries planting still wine vines in place of.
In fairness to the WS they do carry a very good range of sherries even though some major wineries are missing from the listings including one category the Almancenistas.
These sound amazing! Any chance of the WS stocking them?
This is something i read about personally and nothing to do with our list, but if I get the chance, I shall put in a good word with Mr Mansour
There’s probably a question of definition in here, but some of those more specialised wines from Sanchez Romate that the Society offers may well count as Almacenista wines.
The other ones which the Society has carried in the past are the Equipo Navazos range (I seem to recall). Some of those ones are truly stunning.
As a happy coincidence… I learnt today that I might have a work meeting in Stevenage next week.
The En Rama sherries are more like an ‘unmuted’ sherry, Sherry that is found on supermarket shelves (especially Fino) is filtered and stabalised for it to be able to sit on the shelf for a while, whereas the En Rama sherries are how they are meant to taste. Its amazing how muted the Tio Pepe standard sherry is vs the En Rama.
I am lucky to have 2 more (half) bottles of Palo Cortado “Bota Punta” Nº 48 as it is simply out of this world, a total game changer.
You are right, but Finos and more so Manzanillas should be drunk as soon as possible even the supermarket ones dont keep the freshness that long, the Almacenestas are nearly always marked as such, I found this from Lustau who have in the past released quite a few in Waitrose.
And a short explanation here
As another coincidence I may well be dropping in, no date yet as I have to tie in with meeting a very old friend in Hemel Hempstead and then return to Welwyn Garden city at the Gosling Stadium as a guest of the Welwyn Wheelers as I wanted for nostalgic reasons to see the old cycle track as I won the very first race ever held on it at the first meeting there in 1959 now that is frightening, so I could if I can match up the dates have a very good day out.
As @robert_mcintosh pointed out, Cota 45 (Ramiro Ibañez) is one of the most interesting things happening in Sherry right now by far. He has also started a project helping small growers make their own unfortified wines from small old vine plots near Sanlucar - a real treat!
And back to the en rama theme - it’s a style that is not new, but instead it has been brought back to fashion. Sherry sold en rama (unfiltered and bottle straight from the barrel) is a very common thing around Cadiz and the sherry towns. If you pop into some small bodegas you can buy wine poured for you straight from a barrel at very low cost. That’s how the locals have been drinking for generations. And for example, Maestro Sierra has never filtered any of their wines in their history dating back to 1830.
As regards to Tio Pepe, I still find it a mass produced wine (the whole solera has something like 32,000 barrels), and although their en rama bottling is some of their best wines and comes from selected butts, I think there are much better examples out there. I love that the Society stocks this wine, but I’d love to see some other and finer wines from producers like Hidalgo, Urium, El Maestro, Navazos (not a producer exactly), Tradicion, etc
For me the next step and the most exciting thing in sherry is the single vineyard/unfortified wines. They are showing what the local terroir is capable of. And people like Ramiro Ibañez are mapping those soils already which will contribute to the knowledge and enjoyment of theirs qualities in the future.