Valdespino ‘Inocente’ Fino Dry Sherry
Grape Varietal: 100% Palomino
Growing Region: D.O. Jérez - Spain
Chief Winemaker: Eduardo Ojeda
I have had the pleasure of spending quality time in Jérez - Spain and visiting with the team at Valdespino. Which is one of the oldest bodegas in Jérez, originating in 1264, when King Alfonso X gave Don Alfonso Valdespino a gift of land in the city of Jérez. He was one of 24 Christian Knights who fought to regain the city from the Moors. The stables and cellars at the winery, along with commercial activities are thought to date as far back as 1430.
The Valdespino family have been involved in the Sherry trade since 1430, making Valdespino the oldest sherry Bodegas. In 1883, Valdespino became a purveyor of Sherry to the Royal House of Spain and since 1932 to the Royal House of Sweden, a testament to the quality of Valdespino. Jose Estevez also from Jerez, purchased the Valdespino Sherry Bodega in September 1999 - in the same year inviting Eduardo to head the team.
Thus keeping it in family hands and ensuring that the quality and tradition are maintained. Valdespino Inocente is the only Fino Sherry today that is still barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts, giving it unmatched richness and nuance. Another reason why this style is the most respected of all Fino Sherry - the age and complexity of the Inocente solera: ten criaderas rather than the more typical two or three. And the overall age of Inocente at bottling is ten years, an exceptionally long time under ‘flor’ for a Fino.
Eduardo believes that the soul of a Sherry comes from the memory of its barrels. So, to preserve the identity of the great Valdespino soleras, he had a team of ten coopers, working for three years, to restore the irreplaceable old barrels when he joined the estate.
This Fino sherry is unique as it is produced from grapes sourced from one vineyard located in the renowned Macharnudo area of Jerez. The Macharnudo vines grow on high altitude slopes of pure Albariza chalk giving the Inocente solera its intensely mineral signature.
The Valdespino Fino Inocente is the only sherry wine whose grapes are harvested form only one vineyard, the Macharnudo Estate. It is fermented in oak barrels produced in the traditional way using the Solera and Criadera system, and is the only Fino Sherry fermented in American oak. It is then matured under a veil of ‘flor’ for over eight years.
In your glass you will be greeted by a pale golden colour. This Fino has a lifted, sharp nose with almond notes and a hint of 'flor'. On the palate this Fino Inocente has a truly superb and delicious dry, delicate fresh flavours. There is a fine chalkiness, which also manages a refined elegance, woven with notes of almonds, olives and a buttery richness from autolysis (the long aging on its own yeast lees). Valdespino’s Fino Inocente continues to provide all the yeastiness and minerality that has made it Jerez’s most revered Fino for generations. The palate is light and engaging, with a clean freshness leaving a pleasant persistence on the finish.
Once opened, store in a cool dark place - and enjoy within 4-6 weeks. This Valdespino ‘Inocente’ Fino has 15% Alc. Gently chill and serve at 8-10°C.
Valdespino 'Inocente' delivers the ultimate Fino experience.
Drinking perfect well this season; plus will age well for another 3-4 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine as an aperitif and to accompany all kinds of light, fresh tapas and olives, seafood dishes, calamari, fish and vegetable soups - enjoy.