I first tasted Tio Pepe Fino En Rama at the London Wine Trade Fair a few years ago. It was the 2011 bottling of this much hyped, limited release, unrefined Fino, bottled without stabilisation, clarification or filtration. I swallowed a whole copita and felt a warm glow inside me. The wine was too good for spitting or tipping.
For some strange reason, I missed the 2012 bottling but bought a case of the 2013 from The Wine Society. I drank a bottle with Christina Torres and Chris Mooney who popped in one sunny July morning to discuss plans for a Torres tasting lunch later that year and shared the rest with fellow sherry lover Ian Botwright.
The 2014 bottling (bottled on 26 April, Gonzalez Byass cellar master Antonio Flores drawing the wine from the best casks of two of the ancient Tio Pepe soleras – Constancia and Rebollo.) was released on 30 April and I ordered a case from The Wine Society. I was to get it on 7 May but the bottles were accidentally smashed during delivery! The Wine Society apologised and sent a replacement case two days later.
I opened my first bottle. The wine had great freshness, flavour and concentration making me want to take another sip soon after the first. It would be difficult to go back to ordinary Manzanilla and Fino after this, I thought.
How long can you keep a bottle of En Rama open? I wouldn’t know. Here’s what Richard Hemming MW said on Twitter:
A bottle of Manzanilla or Fino does not remain open in my house for more than a day or two!