Sherry comes from Jerez in south-west Spain. The white 'albariza' soil - typical of Jerez - is ideal for viniculture; when the surface dries out it forms a layer which prevents moisture loss, allowing vines to establish deep roots. Furthermore, the albedo effect of the white soil concentrates solar radiation onto the grapes, which aids ripening.
The wine is then matured in a 'solera' system of 10 progressive ages (or Criaderas), for a period of 7-10 years or more! Sherry is bottled from the oldest cask - the 'solera' - and is replaced by sherry from the next-oldest and so on, until the youngest cask is reached which receives the new wine. This process is to achieve consistency in the final product through the blending of multiple vintages, as new and variable sherries entering the system take on the older sherry's characteristics.
Always drink Fino as young as possible; store in the fridge and finish up within five days of opening the bottle.
Valdespino has been a famous name in Jerez for centuries, and has been owned by the Estevez family since 1999. One of the few family owned bodegas in Jerez, they are also one of a handful to own almost all their source vineyards. Valdespino covers 750 hectares of vineyard in the area, which gives enormous control over quality. They are also famous for their single vineyard sherries, in fact they are one of the few bodega to produce them. Inocente is made from a single vineyard on the Macharnudo Estate.
Great with tapas (of course), especially Iberian cured hams, green olives - or a real treat with a shellfish bisque. Drink well chilled.
In the press
"I’ve often called Valdespino “the Romanee-Conti of Jerez.” Well, there, I’ve said it. To me they represent quality and tradition at the very top of the Sherry hierarchy" - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
"The nose is very complex, showing the effect of the long lees contact: chalk, dried hay, aromatic herbs and salty almonds. The palate is full, but at the same time elegant and balanced, powerful and fine, with the texture of a Meursault rather than a Puligny. A very complex wine" - 94 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate
"It's been a few years since we reviewed one of the best finos on the market, and it remains a standout. From a single vineyard, and one of a vanishingly small number of sherries to be fermented in wooden barrels (rather than stainless steel), it has full-on flavours of green olives and Marmite on toast, but the feeling on the palate is fresh and light, right through to the salted nut finish". The Wine Gang - July 2015 Newsletter
Gold- International Wine Challenge 2016
Silver- Sommelier Wine Awards 2016
Bronze- Sommelier Wine Awards 2014