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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Tio Pepe Fino‏ - Date-Stamped

One of the "wine facts" about fino sherry - the palest and freshest of all the styles - is that it is best drunk soon after bottling and immediately after opening.

Fino sherry is aged - often for several years - in soleras under flor (a naturally occurring yeast) that keeps out air and, feeding off the glycerol in the wine, imparts a distinctive pungent, yeasty tang to the wine which gives a crisp sharpness and makes it a perfect aperitif.

Refreshing, precise and elegant, rather than easy-drinking, fino is not, to me, a quaffing wine. Rather, it makes most sense under a hot, Andalusian sun, or failing that, with a simple plate of hard cheeses, cured meats and bread with olive oil on a hot day.

I was recently sent a bottle of Tio Pepe Fino by producers Gonzalez Byass to show off their newly-introduced date-stamp process.

From now, all bottles will carry a date stamp that allows you to establish how fresh your bottle of fino is - mine was just a few weeks old and tasted like ... well, exactly like a fino should.

Of course, a good merchant should rotate his stock properly and ensure that all the wines are in top drinking condition or else marked-down as bin ends needing immediate consumption. However, in the real world, a date-stamp allows consumers to check the age of a fino and, if it is more than say 9-12 months, look for somewhere else to buy it.

Widely available for around £10; provided for review.

Links

Tio Pepe - twitter, website (UK)
Gonzalez Byass - http://www.gonzalezbyass.com/

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