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In a nutshell: A very rare and interesting style of Fino Sherry from one of the top producers in the region.
The lowdown: Antique Fino is carefully selected classic Fino that is then aged for a further 4 years without any movements, except for monitoring the condition of the Flor yeast. Prior to bottling the Fino is fortified again to 17% abv. Little filtration is required and it is bottled with its natural colour. No more than 2-3 casks are bottled per year. Originally created for the winemaker, his friends in Jerez and a "few other Sherry nuts" this Antique Fino has become a bit of a favourite in many a top restaurant and among Sherry aficionados.
When to drink: Rich and long with greater depth and complexity than a standard Fino. There's an appealing salty tang with a long, fresh and pure citrus finish. Serve cool but not fridge cold.
Suitable for Vegans
Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla
Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla is located in the historic centre of Jerez. Its story began with the aristocratic Andrada-Vanderwilde family, who for two centuries provided grapes and wine for the production of sherry in the area.
In 1972 Fernando Andrada-Vanderwilde took over some old sherry cellars and brandy soleras from a couple of local bodegas, and changed the name of the company from Fernando III to Fernando de Castilla. In 1999 Jan Pettersen, a Norwegian with 15 years experience at Osborne, bought the company and also acquired a neighbouring almacenista, José Bustamente. He also formed a partnership with a local grape grower - to ensure consistent supply of high quality grapes - unusual for the smaller bodegas, who usually have to rely on co-operatives. He decided to focus entirely on high-end, complex sherries - in the process upgrading the bodega to one of the most interesting and highly regarded of the small independent sherry houses in Jerez.
Whilst the company also produces Sherry Vinegar, and their own range of brandies, the Sherries produced here are amongst the finest in Jerez - from the pale, dry and elegant fino to the most unique antique wines. There are two ranges: Classic, and the premium Antique range. It is the excellence of the Antique range of intensely pure and complex single solera Sherries that has largely driven Fernando de Castilla's reputation as masters in the production and ageing of fine, unblended, untreated Sherries.