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Winner Details

Sherry


2015: Gold 4 Silver 6 Bronze 0 Commended 4
2014: Gold 3 Silver 7 Bronze 1 Commended 4

After a slight blip last year, we were back to our usual four sherries on the Gold List in 2015. And with two different manzanillas, a PX and a (pricey) palo cortado, it was a nicely balanced selection.

Perhaps more than ever before, our tasters thought such a range was essential. While sherry might still be some way from being the go-to tipple for the majority of the population, the drink’s recovery does, at least, seem to be more than just wishful thinking on the part of the wine trade.

FOOTNOTE While prices shown on these pages relate to the size of bottle on sale, for judging purposes, prices were given for the 75cl equivalent volume.

 

From the Tasting Teams


‘People don’t really ask for sherry, and they can be offended if I suggest it. Sometimes the best way is just to bring them the bottle, let them try and then explain to them what it is.’ Sarah Riddle, Sketch

‘With the bigger, richer, nuttier styles, customers still have to be tempted into tasting the wines, but it’s now fairly easy with manzanilla or fino, especially if they are starting their meal with nuts or nibbles. These are such lovely drinks, you just need to get behind them.’ Kate Hawkings, Bell’s Diner

‘We’ve even started to use fino in cocktails. It’s good with sloe gin and bitters.’ Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Gilbert Scott

‘Pedro Ximénez can be so easy to sell at the end of the meal, and if people see these wines they will order them. It’s particularly easy to match, with ice cream, treacle tart, a lot of puddings.’ Athila Roos, The Arts Club

‘Sherry is such an under-rated area. Even the expensive ones, you could argue were under-priced for what you get.’ Richard Brookes, Caroline Catering

‘There’s a certain comeback for sherry. We have a lot of customers asking for it – often younger people, too. It’s very exciting matching-wise.’ Andrea Fasan, La Petite Maison

Award winners

Found 14 wines

Sherry

Sánchez Romate, Bella Luna, PX NV, Jerez, Spain

Gold medal winner

Deep and dark, with plenty to interest. Kate Hawkings of Bell's Diner said: 'Bit less sweet, with walnuts and honey as well as dried citrus fruit.' ‘With a densely raisined, ripe nose, this is not too sticky on the palate and quite fresh,’ said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, with Caroline Catering’s Richard Brooks concurring: ‘Super wine, with silky, big, intense dried fruit flavours.’ £6.05/37.5cl

£6.05 Size: 37.5cl Enotria&Coe

Hidalgo, Pastrana, Manzanilla Pasada NV, Sanlúcar de Barramada, Spain

Gold medal winner

Classic character alongside serious quality that only an aged manzanilla could offer. With a refreshing citrus note to the long finish, Sarah Riddle of Sketch said: ‘Hearty and robust oxidative style that calls for Iberico ham and nutty cheeses.' Team leader Tom Forrest also highlighted its ‘earthy farmyard notes and oxidised character’. £9.37/75cl

£9.37 Size: 75cl Mentzendorff & Co, Venus Wine & Spirit Merchants

Grupo Estévez, La Guita, Manzanilla NV, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

Gold medal winner

Versatility, quality and value came together in the shape of La Guita. 'A great easy summer aperitif,' said Kate Hawkings of Bell's Diner. ‘Real sea-breeze notes on the nose, coastal and fresh in style with nutty restraint and cleansing richness,’ began Sarah Riddle of Sketch, with Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce also noting seaweed and oyster notes on the nose, adding: 'This is light, clean and refreshing. Very savoury' £4.41/37.5cl

£4.41 Size: 37.5cl Berkmann Wine Cellars

Fernando de Castilla, Antique Palo Cortado NV, Jerez, Spain

Gold medal winner

'Gloriously seductive on the nose, stunning on the palate with amazing length. Fifty Shades of Grey in Spain,' said a happy Kate Hawkings of Bell's Diner. ‘Pale orange/copper colour, with a glorious nose, the essence of sherry,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, continuing: ‘Delicately nutty and oxidised, with brisk, tight grip, dry with orangey highlights. Very exciting.’ ‘Full, generous nose, fresh, complex, clean, long and vibrant on the palate, agreed Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison. £21.75/50cl

£21.75 Size: 50cl Boutinot

Sanchez Romate, Bella Luna, Amontillado NV, Jerez, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Dried fruit, sultana nose with a sleek, silky palate, lovely nutty character and great length,’ began Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, with team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW highlighting its 'gloriously lactic, buttery, honeyed, lifted aromas and delicate elegance with sweeter undertones’. £5.40/37.5cl

£5.40 Size: 37.5cl Enotria&Coe

Sánchez Romate, Bella Luna, Fino NV, Jerez, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Elegant, top style, great stuff,’ began Joris Beijn of Marcus, with an equally impressed Carlos Ferreira of New Street Wine Shop also noting: ‘Lots of dried fruit flavours, with almond and other nuts, and notes of chicory.’ £5.14/37.5cl

£5.14 Size: 37.5cl Enotria&Coe

Grupo Estévez, Leyenda, Pedro Ximénez NV, Jerez, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely rich teak colour and liquorous texture,’ began Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, continuing: ‘Gorgeous, mixed dried fruit nose, followed by superb, silky-smooth, rich, ripe flavours on the palate. Glorious.’ ‘Raisin, chocolate, delicate sweetness and great value,’ agreed Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant. £6.01/37.5cl

£12.02 Size: 37.5cl Berkmann Wine Cellars

Fernando de Castilla, Classic Oloroso NV, Jerez, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Amber colour with copper highlights, roasted, oxidised, not ostentatious on the nose,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, continuing: ‘Dry, chalky palate, textured, with caramelised walnuts and burnt toast notes.’ ‘Oyster nose with pecan nutty notes, lovely acidity and long finish,’ added Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant. £9.25/75cl

£9.25 Size: 75cl Boutinot

Fernando de Castilla, Antique Fino NV, Jerez, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Beautiful aged nose with caramel highlights, with heady walnutty hues,’ said Sarah Riddle of Sketch, with Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Gilbert Scott adding: ‘Rich and complex, older style showing notes of baked almonds and some spice, with a long, warm finish.’ £13.25/50cl

£13.25 Size: 50cl Boutinot

Fernando de Castilla, Antique Pedro Ximénez NV, Jerez, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Wow, this is the very essence of raisins,’ began an impressed team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, continuing: ‘Inky colour, unctuous mouthfeel, very individual style, well aged with some bright freshness coming through.’ ‘Mineral, fragrant palate, precise, long and complex,’ added Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison. £19.25/50cl

£19.25 Size: 50cl Boutinot

Rodriguez La-Cave, Barbiana, Manzanilla NV, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.40 Size: 75cl Bibendum

Lustau, La Ina, Fino NV, Jerez , Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.39 Size: 75cl Bibendum

Fernando de Castilla, Classic Fino NV, Jerez , Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.25 Size: 75cl Boutinot

Hidalgo, La Gitana, Manzanilla NV, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

Commended medal winner

 

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