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Tio Pepe En Rama 2013 release is here!

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Tio Pepe En Rama 2013 bottlingWhat is Tio Pepe 'En Rama'? It's a super-fresh fino sherry made by Gonzalez Byass in Jerez, Spain. It's bottled in limited quantities and available for just a few months every spring. If you buy just one sherry a year, make it En Rama: it's as close as you can get to tasting the wines straight from the barrels in Andalucia. Why is it special? Tio Pepe En Rama is an unfiltered, unclarified, fino sherry bottled on 8th April in its most natural state. At the end of 2012, winemaker Antonio Flores selected around one hundred barrels from two of the Tio Pepe soleras. (A solera is a method of maturing wines in barrels by fractional blending). From these, 67 barrels were identified for their quality and particularly thick surface covering of 'flor' yeast. Flor* imparts fino's distinctive nutty, bready aromas and flavours, and is vital to the production of Fino sherry. Winemaker Antonio FloresWhat does it taste like? If you've been lucky enough to step inside the cool, dark, cathedral-like barrel warehouses of Gonzalez Byass, one sniff of En Rama will transport you straight back there. It is intense and complex on the nose with aromas of bread dough, old oak barrels, dried crystalline fruits (cumquats) and fresh almonds. It's full, dry, and intense on the palate but with a fresh citrus burst. Enjoy served well-chilled as an apéritif with salted almonds or cashews, or air-cured meats. Adnams Fine Wine Manager, Rob Chase, gives his thoughts,"My enthusiasm for Tio Pepe’s En Rama has just been ramped up by several notches. I loved last year’s offering  – its absolute, in-your-face, uncompromisingly raw deal, but the 2013 is a far more beautiful thing. Marginally less excessive in all departments, 2013’s offering is just more hedonistic; inviting, subtle and calm. I love its crystalline fruit, its unbridled elegance – its hint of citrus and straw. It is a thing of beauty – this is real sherry; live, unplugged". Tio Pepe En Rama is available at Adnams Cellar & Kitchen stores and online in 75cl (£14.99) and 37.5cl (£7.99) bottles. Once opened, keep your En Rama in the fridge and treat it like a white wine. Drink it three months after the bottling date - it's to be enjoyed as fresh as possible. *A bit about flor Sherry barrels are filled to about four-fifths capacity to allow a little contact with oxygen. The growth of flor yeast protects the maturing Palomino Fino wine underneath from overt oxidation and helps the young sherries to retain their lovely pale lemon colour. If the wines were left without a covering of flor, the sherry would soon oxidise and turn a coppery-brown. It would still be tasty, but because of its change in nature it would cease to be classified as a 'fino'. Flor yeast forms naturally and cannot grow anywhere - it is the slightly cooler and more humid climate of this part of Andalucia that suits it so well. You can read about the 2012 and 2011 bottlings by following these links, and see images of the 2012 Feria in Jerez here.

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Sarah Groves

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