Hold up, there’s a new Sherry producer coming out of Jerez? Well, they’re not exactly new, but they are new to us, considering they just began bottling and distributing their own label very recently. The sheer fact that almacenistas are willing to take the risk to bottle and distribute helps prove that there indeed is a sherry renaissance upon us! We are ecstatic to welcome this small artisanal producer to our stores and customers!
A little history:
Bodega Faustino González may be the newest Sherry producer to come out of Jerez but their history is older than you may think. They began bottling sherry under their own label called Cruz Vieja in 2014, but in reality this bodega has been producing Sherry for 45 years. In 1971 Dr. Faustino González Aparicio founded the bodega when he bought some very,very old soleras dating back to 1789 form the Alcazar and moved them to his wife's cellar in the Cruz Vieja area of Jerez. Like many others, they had been operating as an Almacenista for years, selling their sherry to bigger producers like the now defunct Domecq. Faustino González is one of very few producers who still ferment their must in barrels, like Valdespino’s Inocente, and bottle everything ‘en rama’ or unfiltered. The bodega sources their grapes from their own 7 hectares of vines thus having the ability to control the process from start to finish. They are only able to bottle their Sherry in small 1,000 bottle batches, so snatch it up quick because when it’s gone, it’s gone. The bodega bottles a Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso. We carry all but the fino for the time being.
With my first sip of the Amontillado, I knew these wines were extraordinary. The Amontillado goes above and beyond, spending 5 years under flor and 7 years aging oxidatively in a solera that dates back to 1926. It has beautiful notes of white flowers, bitter almonds, and honey, while the palate is salty and ethereal showing all its ‘flor’ power. This wine exudes elegance.
I think the bodega must be trying to keep the mystery and elusiveness of Palo Cortado alive because they do not specify on their website what the average age is, luckily I have sources (you guessed it my source is our Sherry buyer, Joe Manekin). The Palo Cortado spends less time under flor, biologically aged for one year and refortified to be aged oxidatively for 10 more years. While only aged biologically for one year, the bright tangy notes of biological aging really shine through providing a lighter style Palo Cortado. Aromas of candied orange rind and salted caramel shine through while the palate still provides good weight and flavors of dried hazelnuts, coffee and cocoa.
The Oloroso of course spends no time biologically aged, instead ages for an average of 10 years in a solera system that dates back to 1900. I love Joe Manekin’s description of the Oloroso having aromas and flavors of walnuts, dark toffee, and mixed nuts roasted and brushed with butter, he’s spot on.
We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bodega Faustino González and thier Cruz Vieja line to our Sherry line-up here at K&L.